Crown Lease Fees

Res #: 19-01M
Number: 19
Year: 2001
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No

Resoution No. 19-01M

WHEREAS, the extreme drought condition in the province has greatly decreased the animal unit carrying capacity of Provincial lease lands;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we request that the Crown lease fees take into account animal units and good stewardship for 2001 and the decreased carrying capacity in stressed years.

Response from the Honourable Clay Serby, Minister of Agricultre and Food:

The lease fees are based on a formula established by regulation under the authority of the Provincial Lands Act. The current formula used to establish grazing rent on Crown agricultural land already takes into account a long-term average carrying capacity that has been reduced by a factor of 0.8 (i.e. lessees are expected to pay for only 80 per cent of the available forage). This formula allows lessees to maintain a constant herd through short (one-two year) drought periods.

A condition of the lease is that the lessee manages the pasture in a manner that does not harm its productivity. Lessees are required to reduce the stocking pressure in years of lower production. They are also able to increase it in years higher production without paying a premium. Drought is a naturally occurring phenomenon in Saskatchewan. T

he livestock industry, as a mature industry, recognizes the cyclical nature of weather and most producers have strategies in place to deal with the impacts of drought. Any relief provided exclusively to Crown lessees would be viewed, as an unfair advantage by individuals who rely on privately owned pasture. However, SAF recognizes the seriousness of this year's drought and is currently reviewing how the grazing formula might better reflect long-term drought conditions where significant forage and grass losses in productivity occur beyond the two years already accounted for in the formula.