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Irrigation Funding Opportunities Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership

By Karly Rumpel, AAg, Intern Extension Agrologist, Outlook

March 2020

Irrigation pivot in field of canola
Irrigated canola
Through funding from the federal and provincial governments as part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) agreement, programs are available to help you expand, improve or start your irrigation project. Register for the Irrigation Opportunity Webinar taking place March 24, 2021. This webinar will feature information on the Irrigation Development Program and Irrigation Environmental Efficiency Program, the benefits of horticulture production, how to start irrigating on your farm and the potential for irrigation in Saskatchewan.  Below are some frequently asked questions about irrigation funding.

What kind of irrigation programs are available to producers?

The Irrigation Development Program is available for new irrigated acres. By pre-approval, the program helps to fund the development of irrigation infrastructure to the edge of the irrigable parcel.

There is also the Irrigation Environmental Efficiency Program for converting your pre-existing irrigation system to improve energy and water efficiencies.

Is there funding available for adding a new pivot?

Under the Irrigation Development Program, on-farm land irrigation systems, such as pivots, are not covered. However, infrastructure expenses leading up to the edge of the irrigable parcel may be eligible. Under the Irrigation Environmental Efficiency Program, if you are converting from a gravity or side wheel system, a new low pressure pivot or linear system may be eligible.

I’ve accessed a CAP program in the past, can I access the same one again?

During the five-year lifetime of CAP, eligible applicants can receive the lesser of 67 per cent of eligible costs or $1,320 per irrigable acre developed, to a maximum program payment of $300,000 under the Irrigation Development Program. In addition, another $50,000 is available under the Irrigation Environmental Efficiency Program. The Irrigation Environment Efficiency Program will cover up to 30 per cent of the eligible costs for each qualified project.

I’m developing an irrigation system on new acres, what is included in the 67 per cent funding under the Irrigation Development Program?

The Irrigation Development Program is to develop infrastructure from the water supply to the edge of the irrigable parcel. Eligible items include pumps, pumping stations, pipelines, turnouts, power installation and hookups. Consulting services and fees for environmental assessments and project design are also eligible.

If environmental assessments are covered, are soils investigation fees also covered?

No. Under CAP, soils investigation fees are not covered. Other common expenses that are not covered include earth work, tree removal, power pole removal and any on-farm land parcel irrigation systems.

I’m switching from a combustion engine to an electric motor, but have no intention of putting up wind or solar. Would this still be covered under the Irrigation Environmental Efficiency Program?

Yes. Under the Environmental Efficiency Program, converting from a combustion engine to an electric power pump is covered. If you want to go one step further and convert from combustion or electric-powered pumps to solar or wind-powered pumps, this is also covered. Remember, this is all on a pre-approval basis at 30 per cent of eligible expenses to a maximum of $50,000.

For more information on the Irrigation Development Program or the Irrigation Environmental Efficiency program visit our CAP web section or contact the Ministry of Agriculture Crops and Irrigation Branch in Outlook at (306) 867-5500.

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