CREP funding available

Staff Writer

Funding for landowners through the Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program is available, the Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Soil and Water Conservation has announced.
The Lake Erie CREP is available in 27 Ohio counties including; Allen, Ashland, Auglaize, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Lorain, Marion, Medina, Mercer, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood and Wyandot counties.
“Farmers are continually looking for innovative ways to practice conservation on their farms,” said Dorothy Pelanda, director of the department of agriculture. “This program provides opportunities to make positive contributions to our state’s water quality while allowing farms to remain productive.”
A $200 bonus is now being offered by the state for all newly-enrolled filter strip and riparian area practices. For current CREP participants with expiring contracts, re-enrolling and expanding the width of filter strips or riparian areas will earn the bonus dollars on the added acres.
CREP is the country’s largest private-land conservation program. Participation is voluntary, and the contract period is typically 15 years. In return for establishing permanent resource-conserving plant species, farmers are paid an annual rental rate along with other federal and state incentives as applicable per each CREP agreement.
Administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency in partnership with ODA and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, CREP targets high-priority conservation concerns in exchange for removing environmentally sensitive land from production.
Mike Libben, program administrator of the Ottawa SWCD, said the program has been well received by landowners.
“This past summer we had nearly 100 acres of grass filter strips and over 200 acres of new wetlands signed up in Ottawa County. We are currently working through the waiting list that was started after the last sign-up ended,” he said.
For information and to sign up, visit a local soil and water conservation district office or contact the ODA Division of Soil and Water Conservation at or 614-265-6610.


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