What is CREP?

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is a voluntary conservation program which provides an annual payment to producers and landowners who establish and maintain specific practices on their land for ten to fifteen years. Up to 100% of the cost to install the practices may also be reimbursed, along with cash incentive payments.  

CREP is available for eligible cropland, and for marginal pastureland along non-forested streams.

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CREP Benefits

  • Protects Pennsylvania's streams, lakes and wetlands.
  • Provides wildlife habitat for biodiversity.
  • Covers the cost of streambank fencing, stream crossings, livestock tanks.
  • Pays for planting native trees, shrubs and grasses.
  • Reduces wear and tear on farm equipment, (through enrollment of wet or steep "problem acres.")
  • Protects animals from diseases that can be transmitted by waterborne bacteria, such as mastitis, Johne's disease, BVD and foot rot.



CREP Highlights 2013

Chesapeake Bay CREP Fact Sheet
CREP Summary Document
National Conservation Buffer Initiative

  • Soil Rental Rate (SRR) - Calculated cash payment dependent upon soil type.
  • Erodibility Index (EI) - Calculation based on soil type and slope.
  • Highly Erodible Land (HEL) - Land susceptible to erosion (usually found on steep slopes, but depends on soil type and vegetative cover).
  • Marginal Pastureland - Land near a stream or water body not currently covered with trees or woody growth.
  • Riparian Zone - Land adjacent to stream channels and other waterways.
  • Riparian Buffer - Strips of trees, shrubs and/or grasses along the edges of waterways that stabilize banks and filter runoff.
  • Wetland - An area that frequently is inundated by surface and/or groundwater, providing a unique habitat for wildlife, improving water quality and protecting against floods. A wetland is different than a pond.
  • Shallow Water Area - A source of water with an average depth of 6 - 18 inches which provides wildlife habitat.
  • Native Grasses - Warm and cool season grasses native to Pennsylvania. Native warm season grasses include indiangrass, big bluestem, and switchgrass. Cool season grasses include perennial ryegrass.
  • TSP - Technical Service Providers (TSPs) are individuals or businesses that have technical expertise in conservation planning and design for a variety of conservation activities. TSPs are hired by farmers, ranchers, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, or public agencies to provide these services on behalf of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Each certified TSP is listed on the NRCS TSP online registry, TechReg.  The TSP registration and approval process involves required training and verification of essential education, knowledge, skills and abilities.
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