Apply for agriculture land

  • Getting public land for agriculture
  • Planned agriculture land
  • Agriculture spot land
  • Apply for grazing land
  • Find land for a spot land application or a grazing application

Farmers, producers and livestock owners can acquire public land for:

  • agriculture production through an Agreement for Sale; or
  • areas for grazing through a Grazing Agreement.
  1. Getting public land for agriculture

    There are 3 ways to apply for public lands:

    • agriculture planned land application;
    • agriculture spot land application; and
    • grazing agreements to access natural forages.

    The Government of Yukon does not provide land for homesteading or any land free of charge. We determine a value for agriculture land and collect it through the land development process.

    We carefully consider all applications to ensure the land:

    • will support agriculture; and
    • will continue to be used for agriculture purposes.

    Applications also go through a Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Board (YESAB) assessment to consider other interests on the land.

    Differences between the programs

    Planned agriculture land

    We do the preliminary work, including identifying suitable land and getting the lot ready for sale:

    • completing YESAB assessments;
    • surveys; and
    • access roads.

    You apply to purchase an existing lot when it becomes available. When we advertise, applicants have a time-frame to submit their project plan.

    We identify lots as soil-based or non-soil based.

    Soil-based

    Lots use will generally be crop production or market garden using the natural soil.

    Non-soil based

    Lots are for other operations such as poultry, egg, or greenhouse production.

    Spot agriculture land

    If you find an area you think you can farm, come to the Agriculture Branch to find more information about the site. For example:

    • if it’s been applied for previously; or
    • if there are any overlapping uses on the area.

    We determine if the land is eligible and that the soil supports agriculture.

    We can assist you in completing a Farm Development Plan and a YESAB project proposal.

    Spot land applications are for soil-based operations, meaning, a minimum of 53% of the land must be:

    • cleared;
    • broken;
    • seeded; and
    • in crop production.

    Additional non-soil-based activities can take place in addition to field and crop development.

    Lot extensions

    Agriculture lot extensions are completed under the spot land application process.

    You may be eligible to apply for a lot extension if:

    • you own an agriculture-zoned lot;
    • need more land to expand your soil-based operation; and
    • available public land exists around your property.

    Grazing agreements

    Grazing agreements provide access to public land with enough feed for livestock. They do not provide title to the property. Using land for grazing must not hinder other uses.

    Rural residential lots

    Rural residential lots are another option for small-scale agriculture. This is appropriate when agriculture use is secondary to residential use. Learn more information about the rural residential program at the Land Management Branch.

  2. Planned agriculture land

    We make undeveloped land available for farming through our Agriculture Planned Land program. We:

    • identify lands for agriculture development;
    • complete the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Board assessment; and
    • prepare the lots for sale, for example, construct access roads and complete survey work.

    Eligibility

    You may apply for a spot land if:

    • you are a Canadian citizens or have permanent resident status; and
    • you have resided in the Yukon for 1 continuous year prior to application; and
    • you are at least 19 years of age; or
    • you represent a Canadian company where the majority of shareholders meet the criteria above.

    Available lots

    There are 2 lots available in the Silver Trail subdivision near Mayo.

      
    We'll advertise when other lots become available. If you would like to be notified when lots become available, email agriculture@gov.yk.ca

    Apply for planned land

    1. Download the release package when agriculture planned lots are advertised. This package outlines the process and evaluation criteria. You will need to complete a Farm Project Plan that includes proposed activities and financial information.
    2. Submit your application to the Agriculture Branch. The deadline is stated in the application package. There will be an application fee of $25 plus 5% GST. The release package includes:
      • the deadline for submission; and
      • instructions on how to apply.
    3. Your Farm Project Plan is evaluated by an independent farm business consultant and evaluation committee. It's scored according to the evaluation criteria in the release package.
    4. We approve the applicant that best meets the criteria in the release package. There may be more than 1 application for the same lot. The highest score gets the 1st opportunity to develop the property.
    5. If you are the successful applicant, you enter an agreement for sale with the Government of Yukon. You pay your lot’s share of the development costs plus GST. This cost is stated in the application package.

     

  3. Agriculture spot land

    An agriculture spot land application is where you identify the parcel of land you wish to use for agriculture. Spot land applications are for soil-based activities (example: hay crop, market garden). The land must:

    • be vacant and available;
    • have arable soil that can support growing crops;
    • have a minimum parcel size of 6 hectares;
    • have a maximum parcels size of 65 hectares; and
    • have reasonable access.

    Eligibility

    You may apply for a spot land if:

    • you are a Canadian citizens or have permanent resident status; and
    • you have resided in the Yukon for 1 continuous year prior to application; and
    • you are at least 19 years of age; or
    • you represent a Canadian company where the majority of shareholders meet the criteria above.

    Apply for spot agriculture land

    1. Discuss your selected parcel with us to determine if the land is a good candidate. Phone 867-667-5838 or email agriculture@gov.yk.ca to set up a meeting.
    2. Prepare your application package. Include:
      • the application form;
      • a map or aerial photo showing the location and size of your chosen area; and
      • an application fee of $25 plus 5% GST.
    3. Submit your application package to the Agriculture Branch.
      In person: 320-300 Main Street in Whitehorse. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
      Mail:
      Government of Yukon
      Agriculture Branch (K-320A)
      Box 2703
      Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6
    4. We evaluate the application and location to ensure the availability of the land. If the land meets the eligibility criteria, your application is accepted.
    5. We assess the value of the land in order to determine your cost of development.
    6. Submit a detailed Farm Development Plan within 60 days for approval. The development cost you outline must be at least equal to the land value we set. We can assist you in developing your Farm Development Plan.
    7. We will conduct a site investigation to determine the soil capability for agriculture in the area.
    8. Once you've completed these steps, you start a Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Board (YESAB) assessment.

    YESAB assessment

    1. You can start your YESAB assessment once: you have:
      • your application is registered with the Agriculture Branch;
      • we've an approved Farm Development Plan; and
      • a soil capability report.
    2. Contact the YESAB office to find out the steps to complete an assessment.
    3. YESAB solicits information from:
      • the Government of Canada;
      • the Government of Yukon;
      • First Nation governments;
      • community agencies; and
      • stakeholders.
    4. Following a review by the YESAB office, they recommend the Government of Yukon:
      • proceeds with the approving the project;
      • proceeds with mitigations; or
      • should not proceed with approving the project.
    5. We consider YESAB's recommendation and:
      • accept;
      • reject; or
      • vary it.

    Approval

    1. If approved, we will send you a letter outlining conditions including how to register a survey.
    2. You hire a surveyor who is a member of the Association of Canada Lands Surveyors to survey the land.
    3. You enter an Agreement for Sale with the Government of Yukon. This contract requires you to develop the land as outlined in your approved Farm Development Plan.
    4. When all items under Agreement for Sale are completed, we transfer the title of the land to you.

     

  4. Apply for grazing land

    You can apply to access natural grazing land for your horses or cattle. A Grazing Agreement provides the right to the graze and the ability to fence the grazing area. You must include gates to allow access for other users. The agreement does not provide land title; it only provides grazing rights.

    Eligibility

    You may apply for a Grazing Agreement if:

    • you are a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status; and
    • you are at least 19 years of age; or
    • you represent a Canadian company where the majority of shareholders meet the criteria above.

    Apply for a Grazing Agreement

    1. Contact us to learn more about the program and policies. We will work with you to do a preliminary review to confirm the area you are interested in is available.
    2. Prepare your application package. Include:
      • a grazing application form;
      • information on your proposed use and need for the grazing land;
      • a map showing the location and approximate size of the requested grazing area; and
      • an application fee of $25 plus 5% GST.
    3. Submit your application package to the Agriculture Branch.
      In person: 320-300 Main Street in Whitehorse. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
      Mail:
      Government of Yukon
      Agriculture Branch (K-320A)
      Box 2703
      Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 2C6
    4. We will assess the suitability of your chosen grazing land. This includes:
      • determining the grazing capacity; and
      • preparing a Grazing Management Plan that outlines management practices you must follow.
    5. We will determine if your application requires a Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Board (YESAB) assessment or other public review.

    YESAB assessment

    1. You submit:
      • a YESAA Project Proposal Form, available at www.yesab.ca;
      • your grazing application form; and
      • your Grazing Management Plan.
    2. YESAB solicits information from:
      • the Government of Canada;
      • the Government of Yukon;
      • First Nation governments;
      • community agencies; and
      • stakeholders.
    3. Following a review by the YESAB office, they recommend the Government of Yukon:
      • proceeds with the approving the project;
      • proceeds with mitigations; or
      • should not proceed with approving the project.
    4. We consider YESAB's reccomendation and:
      • accept;
      • reject; or
      • vary it.

    Approval

    If we approve your grazing application, we grant you a Grazing Agreement. This agreement can be for a term of up to 27 years following a 3-year probationary period. It will have specified terms and conditions along with the Grazing Management Plan which will be reviewed every 5 years.

    Grazing fees

    There are 2 annual fees:

    • an annual administration fee of $50.00 plus GST; and
    • an annual grazing fee of $3 plus GST per animal unit month. Animal unit months are a measure of grazing capacity determined by the Agriculture Branch.

     

  5. Find land for a spot land application or a grazing application

    A spot land application and grazing application require you to identify available public land suitable for your use. There is a limited supply of land suitable for farming or grazing in Yukon. Even less of this land is free of other uses.

    Land you identify for farming for a spot land application must have an agricultural capability of class 5 or better. This means that the landscape, climate and soil will support growing common hardy crops.

    If you are looking for grazing lands, the natural graze must already be present.

    Confirm the land is vacant

    The 1st step to finding land is to ensure the land is available.

    Use the Yukon Lands Viewer to identify available land. Ensure that all the appropriate layers are turned on, including:

    • Settlement Lands;
    • titled lands;
    • current land applications;
    • other dispositions, licenses, lease and administrative holds;
    • local area plans; and
    • key wildlife and environmental sensitive areas.

    Also ensure you have a plan to access the land. Access must generally be within 1 kilometre of a maintained road and must not overlap any other:

    • titled parcel;
    • Settlement Land; or
    • conflicting use.

    If the lands are free of any of these overlaps above, visit us at the Agriculture Branch so we can further investigate the area. We can also give you a tutorial if you need help using the Yukon Lands Viewer. Phone 867-667-5838 or email agriculture@gov.yk.ca to set up a meeting. We are located at 320-300 Main Street in Whitehorse. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Find out more about the land

    • Once you've identified a piece of land, you can investigate its suitability for farming and how it will support the farm you envision.
    • Talk to people who live in the area. They might know the history of the land and why it might be vacant or cannot be used for agriculture.
    • Explore the piece of land. Look at its:
      • features;
      • vegetation;
      • topography; and
      • drainage.

    Consider how the land will support your business

    • Is it big enough for a farm?
    • Does the land support vegetation?
    • Will you be able to cultivate the land?
    • How will you get products to market?

    If you apply for the land, the Agriculture Branch will conduct a full assessment. There are a few indicators to help find out if the soil is arable.

    • Healthy forests or grasslands indicate the soil could be good for farming. Wet areas with smaller trees can point to water problems or permafrost. This might make the area unsuitable for agriculture.
    • Choose land in valleys, as higher elevations can be too cool for growing.
    • If there is clay, gravel or rocks in the first foot of ground, it's a sign the soil isn't good for farming.
    • Look for open areas with plenty of grass for grazing.

    If our minimum size of 6 hectares (15 acres) seems too big, you may want to look at rural residential lots that also allow for agriculture. Learn more information about the rural residential program at the Land Management Branch.