Conservation Reserve Enhanced Program
USDA Partners with Indiana to Improve Water Quality
Seated (right to left) at the signing of the CREP
agreement are: Chuck Conner, Deputy Sec. of USDA; Bill Wilson, President of
National Association of Conservation Districts; Lt.Governor Becky Skillman;
Andy Miller, IN Dept. of Agricultrue; and John Nidlinger with USDA FSA in IN.
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner announces a $20.2 million Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) with Indiana to improve water quality at a signing in Hendricks County.
“Reducing agricultural runoff into the targeted watersheds improves the environment by enhancing habitat for wildlife, especially for threatened and endangered species,” Conner said. “This partnership will also improve water quality, and I encourage all eligible producers to participate.” Conner attended the signing ceremony today for the new CREP with Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman at Brownsburg, Ind.
The Indiana CREP targets the enrollment of 7,000 acres in the Highland/Pigeon, Tippecanoe and Upper White River watersheds where sediment, nutrients, pesticides and herbicides run off from agricultural land. Landowners can offer eligible cropland and marginal pastureland in these watersheds.
Over the course of their contracts, CREP participants will receive incentive payments and cost-share assistance for installing approved conservation practices from USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). CCC will also provide annual rental payments for the duration of the contract.
The state of Indiana will contribute at least 20 percent of the overall costs of implementing the CREP and will offer 10-year contract extensions and permanent easements. Indiana will pay all costs associated with monitoring the state’s water quality and provide technical assistance to develop conservation plans and implement practices.
The total cost over a 15-year period is estimated at $20.2 million, with CCC contributing $14.6 million and the state of Indiana funding $5.6 million.
Sign-up for the Indiana CREP is scheduled to begin July 18, 2005, and will continue until enrollment goals are attained, or through Dec. 31, 2007, whichever comes first. Land enrolled in the program remains under contract for a period of 14 to 15 years, as specified in the contract.
More information on the Indiana CREP is available at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/dafp/cepd/default.htm.
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