Saskatchewan raises agriculture spending in budget by 5.6 per cent


The Saskatchewan government is planning to spend just over $1.5 billion on agriculture programs and resources in 2024-25 — a 5.6 per cent increase over last year’s budget.

The budget announced by Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Donna Harpauer on Wednesday includes $571 million specifically for the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Our investments in this year’s budget support the continued competitiveness and strength of the sector,” noted Agriculture Minister David Marit.

The budget includes an increase of $77 million for Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation in anticipation of higher AgriStability payments for the upcoming crop year, and an additional $7.1 million for wildlife damage compensation payments.

“It is a great assurance to Saskatchewan grain farmers as we plan our 2024 growing season, knowing that these programs will backstop us,” said Daryl Fransoo, chair of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, in a news release applauding the provincial budget.

The province is investing $89 million in the second year of strategic initiatives under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which includes funding for developing and improving irrigated acres. The province says more than 55 thousand new irrigated acres have been developed in the last four years.

The 2024-25 budget also includes a freeze on Crown land grazing rates at 2022 levels. Ranchers who must reduce their stocking rates on Crown grazing land due to drought will be eligible for lease discounts.

As for 2023-24 spending, the Saskatchewan government is forecasting it will dramatically exceed last year’s budget for agriculture of ($1.4 billion) by $1.1 billion, primarily due to drought-related costs, including increased crop insurance claims and the AgriRecovery relief program offered to livestock producers.

Spending on agriculture accounts for approximately 7.6 per cent of the province’s 2024-25 budget.

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