Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Returns
CREP will open June 15, 2022
The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) has returned as of June 15, 2022. It is designed to retire environmentally sensitive ground into a 15-year federal program. All federal CREP enrollments are required to enroll in one of the state program options of either a 15 year easement extension or a permanent conservation easement. Landowners are paid a competitive rent per acre per year for the federal contract and will receive a lump sum payment from the State of Illinois for the easement agreement. CREP is a voluntary, incentive-based federal, state, and local conservation program that works with private landowners to establish conservation practices on erodible lands that help reduce runoff and sedimentation of waterways and enhance fish and wildlife habitat. Ground in the 100 year floodplain is eligible as well as very erodible ground adjacent to the floodplain which is being enrolled into CREP. Land which is listed as prior converted wetlands may qualify as well. The CREP program offers higher rental payments than the regular Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). It also offers additional choices in seeding options. The state easement options are only available through the CREP program. The CREP program has been expanded to include the Illinois River Watershed and the Kaskaskia River Watershed. Illinois has a total allotment of 232,000 acres that may be enrolled in the program. With this expansion, CREP will now be available to 68 counties within the two watersheds. The Illinois CREP is administered by the USDA FSA, IDNR, Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) and 66 Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provides technical assistance and established a CREP Advisory Committee comprised of government agencies, agricultural, environmental and conservation organizations. CREP participants receive incentive payments, annual rental payments and cost-share assistance from FSA, and participants who choose one of the State Conservation Easement options receive additional cost-share assistance and a one-time lump sum payment based on soil rental rates and the duration of the easement. Contact the Logan County Soil & Water Conservation District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service at 217-735-5508, Ext. 3 for additional details.