CREP is a resource to help farmers meet their conservation goals, particularly those who till or graze land along rivers and streams.
CREP pays landowners to install filter strips along waterways or to return continually flooded fields to wetlands while leaving the remainder of the adjacent land in agricultural production. The size of land put into CREP varies, and can be a strip as narrow as 30 feet with no minimum acreage size. This allows farmers to enroll land as needed and leave the remainder for farming. Enrollment options either a 15-year agreement or a perpetual easement.
CREP financial incentives of CREP include:
Cost sharing of conservation practice installation
Upfront incentive payments
Annual soil rental payments
Participants on average receive total combined state and federal payments per acre of $2000 for the 15-year contracts and $2,850 per acre for the perpetual conservation easements over the agreement timeframe.
Many land cover and management practice options are available under CREP, depending on the preference of the landowner and site factors. Some of the more common practices are filter strips, riparian buffers, and wetland restorations.
CREP is a joint effort between the federal, state and county governments.