Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
Conservation Incentive Program Fact Sheet

  • Program Name: Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
  • Abbreviation: CREP
  • Primary Goal:
    • To improve water quality by establishing vegetative buffers along streams, intermittent streams, other water bodies and around sinkholes.
    • Provide livestock with limited access to streams or alternate watering facilities outside of riparian areas.
    • Increase wildlife habitat in riparian areas and restore wetlands.
  • Contact Agency: Farm Service Agency (FSA)
  • Where Applicable: Entire Chesapeake Bay and certain watersheds in Southern Rivers region of Virginia.
  • Other Sources of Information:
    • NRCS offices
    • local Soil and Water Conservation Districts
    • FSA
    • Ducks Unlimited
    • Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Prepared by Virginia State Technical Advisory Committee.

Program Description and Requirements

This program is an “enhancement” of the existing USDA Conservation Reserve Program Continuous Sign-up. It has been “enhanced” by increasing the cost share rates from 50% to 75% and 100%, increasing the rental rates and offering a flat rate incentive payment to place a permanent “riparian easement” on the enrolled area.

Pasture and cropland, as defined by USDA, adjacent to streams, intermittent streams, seeps, springs, ponds and sinkholes are eligible to be enrolled. Buffers consisting of native, warm-season grasses on cropland, to mixed hardwood trees on pasture, must be established in widths ranging from the minimum of 30% of the floodplain or 35 feet, whichever is greater, to a maximum average of 300 feet.

Cost-sharing (75% - 100%) is available to help pay for: fencing to exclude livestock from the riparian buffer, watering facilities, hardwood tree planting, filter strip establishment and wetland restoration. These additional funds are from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ducks Unlimited, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, where eligible.

Additional incentive payments based on sign up and the total cost of the conservation practices are also available from FSA. Note: The State of Virginia will make an additional incentive payment to place a perpetual conservation easement on the enrolled area. The statewide goal is 8,000 acres.

All programs, activities, and services of the conservation partnership are available to people on a nondiscriminatory basis regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, physical ability, political affiliation, and marital or familial status. We are all equal opportunity employers.

Last modified 2007-07-12