New pilot project in Manitoba launched to enhance forage productivity of Agricultural Crown Lands under Canadian Agricultural Partnership

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Source: Manitoba Agriculture Food, and Rural Initiatives

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 forage leases, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.

“Canada’s hardworking farmers and food processors have a solid track record of sound management practices,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “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 Agricultural Crown Land forage leaseholders to adopt best management practices to sustainably increase the productivity on their Agricultural Crown Land 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,” said Eichler. “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 Agricultural Crown Land lease that is in good standing and must complete an Environmental Farm Plan. Eligible items under the Agricultural Crown Lands Forage Productivity 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 November 8, 2021.

“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 (BMP) is also accepting applications starting November 8, 2021. 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 the 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.

The Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by the federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors. This includes a $2-billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories. For more information, visit: https://agriculture.canada.ca/en/about-our-department/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership.

For more information on the Agricultural Crown Lands Forage Productivity Pilot Program, and other Ag Action Manitoba- Assurance Beneficial Management Practices programming in Manitoba, please visit: www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/canadian-agricultural-partnership/ag-action-manitoba-program/for-farmers.html.

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