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Manitoba Ag seeking producer feedback on Crown leases and regulations

Manitoba Ag seeking producer feedback on Crown leases and regulations

Farmers have until July 17 to submit comments online

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Manitoba Agriculture is giving farmers a little over one month to provide feedback on proposed changes to Crown Land Leases and Permits Regulation (ACL).

The department of agriculture started to modernize the ACL in 2017 and added new stipulations in 2019.

These additional proposals would help further modernize the program, which sees producers lease land for agricultural uses like grazing, haying or cropping.

Manitoba farmers have until July 17 to submit their opinions.

The amendments will “allow lease terms to be extended from 15 years to 20 years for leaseholders that practice good land management; broaden transfer rights; implement third party appraisals for improvements; apply set times for forage productivity assessments; and expand eligibility to Indigenous organizations,” the Manitoba Regulatory Consultation Portal says.

In terms of transfer rights, for example, the proposed changes would allow an existing leaseholder to nominate the next one.

This could help producers who may be in a challenging position.

“Allowing legacy leaseholders one nomination for a lease transfer may allow those without a family succession option the ability to transfer their lease to an eligible third party who would then receive a new-system, 15-year lease,” the proposal says.

Any transfers would be subject to Treat Land Entitlement (TLE) selection under the TLE Framework Agreement. This means eligible First Nations would be notified the Crown land is available and may select it for TLE.

For land improvements, farmers may be eligible for compensation to offset investments they’ve made to the land.

Under current regulations, outgoing leaseholders and incoming leaseholders can negotiate improvement compensation. If the two parties can’t come to an agreement, arbitration legislation guides the process.

New proposals would allow a third party to enter the fold.

“Under the proposed amendments, outgoing leaseholders that want compensation for improvements they make to the land, from an incoming leaseholder, will be required to obtain a third party appraisal of the improvement by September 1,” the consultation portal says.

The ag ministry will determine which appraisers can be hired. And the outgoing leaseholder will be responsible for the cost of the appraisal.

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