Livestock producers that use the province's Agricultural Crown Land Leases (ACL) for forage are getting an early Christmas Gift.

Premier Wab Kinew and Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn announcing a temporary increase in the reduction for 2024 ACL forage lease rates from 33 per cent to 55 per cent.

Premier Kinew noted that Manitoba producers, like all Manitobans, continue to experience a rise in prices in all aspects of their business, including production and market costs, making it increasingly difficult to recover.

"This rent reduction will essentially freeze rates to the same as 2023 and will provide producers with over $2 million in support."

Kostyshyn says the previous government chose to increase the Crown land rates with minimum consultation with producers.

"Really no for notice, they increased the lease rates 300 per cent in one year, and also double-billed the producers. They have to pay their present year's bill and also pay the next year's bill all in the same year. So that really became kind of an avalanche of financial hardship for the cattle producers with no pre-warning whatsoever."

He says this really means a relief for producers as it will effectively freeze the rates, adding that the reduction will show up immediately on producer bills.

Dale Myhre, a veteran rancher with a Parkland cattle operation says this announcement is a lifeline for crown leaseholders.

"We are so grateful that this government is listening to producers rather than announcing policies without consultation. With this reduction in crown lease rents, Beef producers have gone from feeling desperation to feeling hope again."

Kostyshyn says today’s announcement is part of the government's promise to ensure affordability with ACL lease rates and begins to accomplish the goals set out in the Minister of Agriculture mandate letter.

He notes they'll continue to review the ACL program to ensure it best serves Manitoba producers.

To hear Glenda-Lee's conversation with Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn click on the link below.

For more information on agricultural Crown lands can be found here.