Business & Policy
Manitoba invests in Ag Crown Land productivity and sustainability
By Manitoba Agriculture
The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing up to $1 million in the new Agricultural Crown Lands Forage Productivity Pilot Program aimed at improving productivity and sustainability of Agricultural Crown Land (ACL) forage leases. The announcement was made on Oct. 29 by federal minister of agriculture and agri-food Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba agriculture and resource development minister Ralph Eichler.
“Canada’s hardworking farmers and food processors have a solid track record of sound management practices,” said Bibeau. “This new pilot project will encourage Manitoba Agricultural Crown Land lease holders to adopt further beneficial management practices in their operations, helping them improve productivity while further protecting the environment.”
The Agricultural Crown Lands Forage Productivity Pilot Program will provide targeted financial assistance to ACL forage leaseholders to adopt best management practices to sustainably increase productivity on their ACL forage leases.
“This pilot project aligns directly with our Manitoba Protein Advantage strategy of increasing forage productivity on our Agricultural Crown Lands, and supports the mandate of the Agricultural Crown Lands program to optimize forage capacity,” Eichler said. “Cost-shared programs such as this can help offset costs for leaseholders and reduce barriers to making improvements on Agricultural Crown Lands.”
Eligible recipients must have an active ACL lease that is in good standing and must complete an Environmental Farm Plan. Eligible items under the pilot program include grazing management plans, water source development and watering systems, cross-fencing for pasture management, and forage rejuvenation such as forage establishment and brush management. Improvements must be completed within the one-year pilot project. Farmers can begin submitting applications on Nov. 8.
“In managing tens of thousands of acres of Agricultural Crown land, the lease holders provide considerable ecological goods and services that benefit all Manitobans, including carbon sequestration and providing habitat for a variety of plant and animal species,” said Tyler Fulton, president, Manitoba Beef Producers.
“Implementing beneficial management practices helps contribute to improved soil and pasture and forage health on these lands, and we believe the pilot program should prove to be valuable in this regard.”
“This is a good first step in the right direction to help producers improve forage and pasture quality in the pilot project area,” said Larry Wegner, chair, Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association. “As a pilot project, it also means the project has potential to help producers as required in those key program areas right away, with the potential for possible design and delivery in other key forage-producing areas across the province.”
The Ag Action Manitoba Program Assurance: Environment Beneficial Management Practices is also accepting applications starting Nov. 8. The program provides targeted incentives to farmers to advance the adoption of beneficial management practices. These practices reduce identified environmental risks, improve agro-ecosystem resilience, build public trust and improve environmental sustainability of farm operations in Manitoba.
Through Canadian Agricultural Partnership programming, the governments of Canada and Manitoba help farmers implement and adopt beneficial management practices on their farms that are identified in their Environmental Farm Plans.