Sask. budget provides support for agriculture

The provincial budget has a 23 million dollar increase in the agriculture ministry this year.

The 387 million dollar budget is 6 percent higher than last year.

The budget includes a 20.6 million dollar increase for business risk management programs like agristability and crop insurance.

Business risk funding totals 265 million dollars, including record coverage of 273 dollars an acre in crop insurance.

The 150 million dollar crop insurance program has an additional 11 million dollars with additional options for tame hay, native forage establishment benefit coverage, the introduction of the Commercial vegetable pilot program and increases to establishment benefit values for canola, lentils, chickpeas and corn.

This year’s budget also contains an additional 2 million dollars for the Wildife Damage Compensation Program, which compensates producers for crop damage caused by wildlife.

The budget also includes 33 million dollars for agricultural research, matching last year’s record level.

An additional 2.5 million dollars to advance projects outside the Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Expansion Project.

Expanded irrigation is part of the 2030 Growth Plan, which aims to increase crop production to 45 million tons, increase livestock cash receipts to 3 billion dollars, double agriculture value-added revenue to 10 billion dollars and expanded agri-food exports to 20 billion dollars.

Last year, Saskatchewan farmers harvested the second largest crop at more than 39 million tons and agri-food exports hit a record 16.9 billion dollars.

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