The Irrigation Development Program supports infrastructure development to increase irrigation capacity by creating a secure water supply to irrigable land parcels.
Eligible applicants who complete projects for Irrigation Development can receive the lesser of 67 per cent of eligible costs or $1,675 per irrigable acre developed to a maximum program payment of $500,000 over the five-year program term of the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) from April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2028. The deadline for submitting applications for pre-approval is December 31, 2027, for projects to be completed by March 31, 2028.
Irrigation Development funding is available for the creation of a secure water supply to irrigable land parcels and to increase irrigation capacity by a minimum of 10 acres. Funding supports developing infrastructure at the water source and distribution pipeline to the pivot point but does not include on-farm infrastructure such as pivots.
- Primary agricultural producers (individual, partnership, co-operative or corporation) who can demonstrate a minimum $50,000 of gross farm income in Saskatchewan in the year of application or the year prior to the application. Individual applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
- First Nation Bands in the Province of Saskatchewan; or
- Irrigation districts (within the meaning of The Irrigation Act, 2019) in Saskatchewan that are approved by the ministry.
If you are an irrigation district in Saskatchewan, please contact the ministry's Crops and Irrigation Branch at 306-867-5500 to discuss further.
Our rebate programs allow flexibility for new entrants to become eligible if they are confident they will be able to provide proof of meeting the gross farm income threshold within the five-year term of Sustainable CAP. Complete the below New Entrant Self-Assessment for details:
New Entrant Self-Assessment:
- Did you earn less than $50,000 in gross farm income in the year of or the year prior to the application?
- Have you recently (roughly within the last five years) made a significant purchase of land, livestock, or other investment for the purpose of farming, which will allow you to generate $50,000 in gross farm income by March of 2028?
- Have you operated a farm or ranch and earned farm income for five years or less, either as a sole operator or with other related entities who have operated a farm or ranch for five years or less?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, please contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377 and ask to be connected with an agriculture programs specialist to discuss whether or not you are eligible as a new entrant.
First Nation producers may have distinct characteristics reflecting regulatory, operational, cultural and other factors. Our programs are designed to allow for flexibility to reduce barriers and ensure accessibility. If you are interested in applying for programs and have questions about the application process or eligibility criteria, please contact one of our Building and Strengthening Indigenous Supports (BASIS) specialists or contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377 and ask to be connected with one of our BASIS team members.
Eligibility Criteria/Other Parameters
- Expenses incurred after October 1, 2022, will be eligible.
- Producers who own, lease or rent property where livestock and poultry are grown, bred, kept, raised, displayed, assembled or disposed of, require a Saskatchewan Premises Identification (PID) number.
- Persons related to an eligible applicant will be subject to the program’s maximum funding cap for that eligible applicant. Related applicants include:
- The maximum amount that may be paid to an eligible applicant, including persons related to an eligible applicant, may not exceed the maximum funding cap per applicant/related entity over the life of the program.
- “Related applicants” include but are not limited to spouses, business partners, relatives living in the same residence, individuals/entities which have controlling interests in more than one operation and operations that are not legally, financially or operationally sufficiently independent of other entities.
- In determining whether a person/entity is a related applicant, the ministry may consider the following factors:
- whether the person/entity is engaged in a common enterprise with the applicant as a corporate affiliate or subsidiary, partner, member of a joint venture, trustee of a trust or estate in which the eligible applicant has a substantial beneficial interest or any other relationship which evidences an intention to share the profits or risk of loss of the operation with the eligible applicant;
- whether the person/entity makes operational decisions in respect of the operation or makes those decisions jointly or in common with the eligible applicant;
- whether the person is responsible to ensure that day-to-day operations are completed respecting the operation;
- whether the person/entity and the applicant have access to common assets such as land, machinery, processing equipment, crop storage or animal handling facilities used in the operation;
- whether the person/entity files separate income and expense statements for income tax purposes;
- whether the person/entity maintains separate farm or business accounting records;
- whether the person maintains a separate bank, credit union or trust company account;
- whether the person has a separate Goods and Services Tax number;
- whether the person/entity has any other financial interest in the operation; and
- any other matter that the ministry believes is relevant to the legal, financial or operational independence of the operation.
- For more information about related entities please send an email to email@example.com or contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377.
Before You Apply
By participating in this program, applicants understand they must meet all eligibility requirements which includes compliance with The Irrigation Act, 2019.
- Irrigation districts must be in good standing and have met the criteria as laid out in Part 2 of the Act.
- All Irrigators are required to pay a refundable acre levy fee to the Irrigation Crop Diversification Corporation to support irrigation research and development in the province as per Part 5 of The Irrigation Act, 2019.
Projects must meet the following requirements and applicants must obtain the following applicable pre-approval inspections and/or documents:
- Irrigation development locations must obtain an Irrigation Certificate from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Crops and Irrigation Branch for the project location.
- Eligible projects must plan to increase irrigation capacity by a minimum of 10 acres of land for agricultural purposes.
- Individual applicants with projects within irrigation districts must be approved by the respective irrigation district board.
- The proposed water source for the project must have an electrical conductivity of less than 1,500 uS/cm and a sodium absorption ratio of less than five.
- Irrigation development locations granted a Term Irrigation Certificate are not eligible for funding due to concerns about the sustainability of these projects.
The following requirements (in the applicant's name) must be met at the time of claim submission before funding will be issued:
- Approval to Construct permit from the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency (WSA).
- Water Rights file number with WSA:
- Projects must receive a water allocation of intensive or non-intensive median annual availability to be eligible. Projects that receive a water allocation non-intensive subject to availability are not eligible.
- An 'as-constructed' drawing from Crops and Irrigation Branch or an Approval to Operate from the WSA.
- Other requirements such as environmental assessments, when required
Eligible expenses include the creation of secure water supply points through the purchase and installation of:
- Pump stations;
- Power installation and hook‐up;
- Consulting services and fees for environmental assessments and project design; and
- Funding for power and pipe will be eligible up to the center pivot point of new irrigable acres.
Ineligible Activities or Expenses include:
- Projects (and any expenditures) commencing prior to October 1, 2022.
- Invoices not issued in the applicant's name.
- On-farm land parcel irrigation systems, including:
- Any pump; pipe; drain; trench; ditch; sprinkler; or power source dedicated to irrigating a land parcel, with the exception of pipe and electrical from the distribution pipeline to the pivot point.
- On-farm land parcel site preparation costs to remove trees, infrastructure or landscape.
- Irrigation certification fees.
- Purchase of land/property or payment of easements.
- Taxes, financing fees, interest charges or legal fees.
- Applicant/employee labour and administration costs.
- Fees paid to third parties for application support.
- Basic repair and maintenance or ongoing expenses.
- Extended warranty or insurance costs.
- Used, leased or fabricated materials and infrastructure, including equipment purchased at auction - to be eligible, new items and infrastructure must be purchased from a recognized dealer. For the purposes of the program, a recognized dealer is typically defined as a business where manufacturing is a key service or the business is an authorized dealer for a certain item(s).
- In‐kind freight/mileage.
- In-kind equipment use.
- In‐kind materials such as rocks, sand, gravel or clay.
- In-kind payment (e.g., trading) for third party services/supplies.
- Materials from inventory.
- Any submissions for rebate using a third-party contractor must be from a contractor who is third-party arm's length, or the submission will be considered in-kind labour and original invoices for all materials will be required.
- Costs claimed for expenses/activities which may receive funding under other Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs, or any other government grant, rebate or assistance program.
Review the Irrigation Development Program details including eligibility. Applicants are encouraged to apply early and submit their claims as soon as their projects are completed.
Claim forms will be sent to eligible applicants when pre-approval for the project has been obtained. When the project is fully constructed and operational for agricultural use, claims for funding may be submitted. All invoices must be paid in full before applying for the rebate. Please submit copies of paid invoices as originals will not be returned.
- Interim claims are optional and can be requested for consideration under the following conditions:
- The applicant must request an interim payment by completing the interim claim form provided by the program.
- The irrigation development project has received the necessary approvals.
- The claimed items have been approved and are fully installed and paid in full, prior to requesting an interim payment. Submission of paid invoices is required. Proof of payment (cheque image, bank statement, etc.) may be requested.
- Total approved eligible expenses included on the interim claim form are at least $100,000.
- The maximum of all interim payments cannot exceed $300,000, excluding the holdback.
- A 15 per cent holdback will be placed on all approved interim claims until the project has been completed and the final claim submitted.
- Any projects receiving an interim payment must be completed by March 31, 2028.
Applications for pre-approval must be submitted by December 31, 2027, for projects to be completed by March 31, 2028.
Projects must be complete and claims for funding must be submitted by the earlier of 18 months from written project approval or by March 31, 2028.
Note: It is recommended this application form is saved to your computer before entering your information.
Completed application packages can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
Ministry of Agriculture, Programs Branch
329 – 3085 Albert Street
Regina SK S4S 0B1