Following the release of the provincial budget for 2023-24, agricultural organizations have been voicing their approval.

Included in the release is $548 million going to the ministry of agriculture, a 19% increase from last year.

Chad Ross, the vice-chair for the Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association, says that the increase in funding is good for them.

"The Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association is pleased with today's announcement. It shows continued commitment by the government to the agriculture sector. These investments to the livestock sector are particularly important. our producers have been through many challenges in the past few years and so assistance from our government is very welcome."

Of that figure, $89.8 million is for strategic initiatives, including $38 million for agricultural research and innovation.

APAS Vice President Bill Prybylski details some of the notable programs funded by this year's budget.

"The increased funding to water infrastructure, in terms of dams and irrigation projects, that's always good to see for agriculture. For the livestock industry, they've frozen the crown grazing rates for 2023, which is a good thing for livestock producers, knowing that a lot of the livestock industry is hurting a little bit because of drought and other factors."

While the cost of living and prices are still an issue for some farmers, Prybylski believes people are looking forward to 2023.

"I think there's a lot of positivity out there. I think farmers are feeling somewhat optimistic about the year going forward. The government is making strategic investments that are good for agriculture, obviously, commodity prices are on a bit of a downswing now but we hope that those will rebound and there's been some relief in fertilizer prices and fuel prices and that, so I think there is some optimism out there."