Saskatchewan freezes Crown land grazing rates

Farmers and ranchers who lease approximately six million acres of Crown land under grazing leases will pay the same rate as last year.

The announcement was made by the provincial agriculture minister at the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference in Saskatoon on Wednesday morning. David Marit also said producers leasing Crown grazing land will be eligible for rent reductions if they are forced to move cattle due to dry conditions during the grazing season.

“If some of the pasture patrons and  leaseholders—whether it’s on Crown land, private lease or community pasture—if they pull some animals off (the land), then we will cut the lease rate by that number, up to a maximum of 50 per cent,” Marit told reporters.

A 2023 rent reduction will apply in situations where an individual lessee or pasture association must reduce the number of animals grazing Crown leases by 20 per cent or more compared to the long-term carrying capacity of that land. The 2023 rate reduction will match the reduction in carrying capacity, ranging from 20 per cent up to 50 per cent. This is the first time the Saskatchewan government has implemented the measure following lobbying by provincial cattle organizations.

“To have this shelf-ready program—hope we never have to use it—that is something we have asked for and we really appreciate it,” said Arnold Balicki, chair of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association.

Marit estimates the two programs could cost the provincial government anywhere between $1-million and $3.5 million, depending on weather conditions in the upcoming grazing season.


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