Conservation Has Its Rewards... CREP
Now in its 25th year, Maryland’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is a federal state partnership program that pays landowners to take environmentally sensitive cropland out of production for 10 to 15 years and install conservation practices that protect water quality and provide wildlife habitat.
Farmers can receive attractive annual rental payments to take streamside property, certain highly erodible land or wetlands out of production and maintain grass, shrubs, trees, or wetlands for the life of the contract.
This completely voluntary program offers:
- A one-time signing bonus of up to $1,000 an acre (through 2031) for riparian forest buffers and other qualifying water quality improvement practices.
- Attractive annual rental and incentive payments.
- Cost-share assistance to install streamside buffers, watering systems, livestock fencing, and more.
In addition, landowners have the option of selling a permanent easement on their land to the State of Maryland.
Interested farmers should contact their soil conservation district or county Farm Service Agency to sign up for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program.