Agricultural Crown Lands Program - Forage Leases

Forage leases are available to farmers and ranchers to provide an additional land base for agricultural activities, through the Agricultural Crown Lands Program (ACLP).

Agricultural Crown lands are a public asset; their use, through forage leases, should support Manitoba agriculturally, environmentally, economically and socially. ACL forage leases should support the following goals:

  • Maximize productivity of forage and pasture lands
  • Grow livestock numbers
  • Advance sustainability
  • Apply market-based principles
  • Respect Indigenous rights
  • Consider the impacts to young farmers

Modernization of the ACLP began as a Ministerial mandate in 2017 and continued through 2020. The Agricultural Crown Lands Lease and Permits Regulation was amended in 2017, 2019, and 2020, as follows:

  • Shifting to an online auction system, the fourth in a line of changes in the past five years that have included the use of a points system, a tender system and in-person auctions.
  • Calculating forage rents using a market based formula, 3.5% of the market price of beef x the number of cows that the land can sustain (i.e. “animal unit months” or AUMs, a measure of the productivity of the land).
    • Prior to this change, rental rates were frozen at very low rates since 2014.
  • Eliminating unit transfers (transfers of an ACL lease to a third party, typically as part of a farm sale).
    • Leases can now only be transferred between immediate family members, and only by those leaseholders that held leases prior to this policy change (i.e. “legacy leaseholders”).
  • Eliminating lifetime leases. The maximum duration of a lease term is now 15 years.

The previous program, which allocated crown land based on points, was not without complaints from stakeholders. Complaints included lack of transparency with the points based system, the inability for farmers to obtain a lease due to the long lease terms and unit transfers, and government involvement in improvements.

Data from this survey will guide future potential improvements to the Agricultural Crown Lands program, and its administration.


The deadline to reply has been extended to October 30th.

To request this survey in an alternate format, please contact agrpolicy@gov.mb.ca.

Forage leases are available to farmers and ranchers to provide an additional land base for agricultural activities, through the Agricultural Crown Lands Program (ACLP).

Agricultural Crown lands are a public asset; their use, through forage leases, should support Manitoba agriculturally, environmentally, economically and socially. ACL forage leases should support the following goals:

  • Maximize productivity of forage and pasture lands
  • Grow livestock numbers
  • Advance sustainability
  • Apply market-based principles
  • Respect Indigenous rights
  • Consider the impacts to young farmers

Modernization of the ACLP began as a Ministerial mandate in 2017 and continued through 2020. The Agricultural Crown Lands Lease and Permits Regulation was amended in 2017, 2019, and 2020, as follows:

  • Shifting to an online auction system, the fourth in a line of changes in the past five years that have included the use of a points system, a tender system and in-person auctions.
  • Calculating forage rents using a market based formula, 3.5% of the market price of beef x the number of cows that the land can sustain (i.e. “animal unit months” or AUMs, a measure of the productivity of the land).
    • Prior to this change, rental rates were frozen at very low rates since 2014.
  • Eliminating unit transfers (transfers of an ACL lease to a third party, typically as part of a farm sale).
    • Leases can now only be transferred between immediate family members, and only by those leaseholders that held leases prior to this policy change (i.e. “legacy leaseholders”).
  • Eliminating lifetime leases. The maximum duration of a lease term is now 15 years.

The previous program, which allocated crown land based on points, was not without complaints from stakeholders. Complaints included lack of transparency with the points based system, the inability for farmers to obtain a lease due to the long lease terms and unit transfers, and government involvement in improvements.

Data from this survey will guide future potential improvements to the Agricultural Crown Lands program, and its administration.


The deadline to reply has been extended to October 30th.

To request this survey in an alternate format, please contact agrpolicy@gov.mb.ca.