Rental payments, benefits for participationFederal and state resources are available to program participants voluntarily enrolling in the CRP program for a term up to 15 years. The state also requires a similar 15-year enrollment or a permanent conservation easement. Participants will remove cropland and marginal pastureland from agricultural production. They will then convert the land to grasses, trees, or other approved vegetation. Therefore, this improves water quality by reducing sediment, nutrient runoff, nitrogen, and other pollutants from entering streams and rivers. Moreover, it will also enhance the wildlife habitat within the project area. FSA provides rental payments and cost-sharing assistance in return because of participation. Meanwhile, in addition, Illinois will provide a cost-share match in addition to a one-time payment. The payment will be for all land put in an easement as a result.
Example of conversion practices for CREP programFor instance, conversion practices include the implementation and/or planting of:
- permanent native grasses
- hardwood trees
- permanent wildlife habitats, including shallow waterways
- filter strips and riparian buffers
- floodplain and non-floodplain wetland restorations
- rare, declining habitats for prairie and oak savanna ecosystems
USDA to service 68 Illinois counties in the CREP programThe program includes all or portions of the following 68 counties in the Illinois and Kaskaskia River watersheds. In conclusion. farmers, ranchers, and agricultural landowners with an interest in participating should contact the FSA. The FSA can be found at their local USDA Service Center to learn more or to participate.
Portions of this article include content from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Farm Service Agency in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
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