Improve water and soil quality, wildlife habitat and get paid

Published 10:18 am Friday, April 16, 2021

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The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is an agricultural cost-share program that converts low-yield cropland and marginal pastureland into forests that protect water quality, improve soil quality, and create wildlife habitat.

CREP is continually accepting enrollments in Davie County.

Participating farmers enroll land into either a 30-year or permanent conservation easement with the dtate. The landowner maintains ownership of the land while carrying out conservation practices, such as tree planting, and restricting future cropping and development. Farmers are reimbursed for implementing conservation practices through cost shares.

To compensate landowners for enrolling in the program, CREP pays landowners 15 years of per-acre payments. Additionally, landowners are compensated after signing their easement with one-time payments of either $250 per acre for 30-year easements or $1,000 per acre for permanent easements.

Participating farmers are eligible to enroll land that has been: owned for one year, is adjacent to a qualifying water source, and was farmed at least four years between 2012- 2018. Qualifying water bodies include agricultural ditches, streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Landowners can view if their land is eligible and contact CREP staff using an interactive map at: