With many big announcements made, Budget Day shaping up to be quiet for ag sector

The provincial budget will be released Wednesday and one cattle group leader believes there won’t be anything new in the budget for the agriculture sector.

CEO of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association Grant McLellan says many noteworthy items have been announced over the last two months, from the freezing of Crown Land grazing rates made in January, to details of 2024 Crop Insurance made available earlier this month, and the Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Expansion Project just announced last week at the SARM Convention.

“Those were I think what we were looking for this year so…I don’t anticipate anything too significant in the actual budget itself but we’re already pleased with those changes that have been announced,” said McLellan.

Kevin Hursh, the Chief Agricultural Editor of SaskAgToday.com echoed similar comments during Friday’s SaskAgToday.com Roundtable.

“I’m not sure with all of these pre-announcements like Lake Diefenbaker and funding for education whether there’s going to be much new left to announce by the time the budget rolls out, but we’ll have to watch and see what that might have for agriculture as well.” said Hursh.

Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) would like to see more funding for the Rural Integrated Roads for Growth Program, also known as RIG, in the budget.  

“The cost of doing road and bridge projects has gone up due to inflation and if our members can’t get access to more funding then our infrastructure will deteriorate,” said SARM President Ray Orb on Friday during the last day of the SARM Convention in Regina.

A resolution was passed at the Convention – with 65 percent of members in favour and 35 percent opposed – to call on SARM to lobby the provincial government to expand project eligibility under the Rural Integrated Roads for Growth Program. The RIG program provides up to 50 percent of each project’s total cost to a maximum of 500-thousand dollars. Each individual RM covers the rest and program administration is handled by SARM. 

The increase to Municipal Revenue Sharing by 14 percent to $340.2-million was another rural-related announcement made by the government at the SARM Convention. Details on how that funding will be distributed to R.M.s will be announced when the budget is released.

We will have full coverage of the Budget Wednesday afternoon at SaskToday.ca, SaskAgToday.com, 620ckrm.com, and GX94radio.com.

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