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Michigan’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) was created to help protect our environment and wildlife. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to implement conservation practices of great significance to the state, and valuable to the nation, in matters of soil erosion, water quality, and wildlife habitat.
CREP is part of the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and offers enhanced financial incentives for participants. In Michigan’s CREP, farmers and other landowners in priority watershed
areas agree to enroll eligible parcels of land in the program for 14 to 15 years and establish prescribed conservation practices.
In return, landowners receive cost-share assistance in establishing conservation practices. Eligible practices include:
CREP priority watersheds include the Lake Macatawa, Western Lake Erie Basin, and Saginaw Bay watersheds. Eligible land must be planted with an agricultural commodity (any crop planted and produced by annual soil tilling) four of the six years from 2012 to 2017 and is physically and legally capable of being planted to an agricultural commodity in a normal manner.
Selected land within Michigan’s CREP priority watersheds is eligible for the program. Property owners in these priority watersheds are strongly encouraged to take part. The local USDA Farm Service Agency can help landowners identify suitable
parcels of land.
As we farm with agrochemicals, whether it be fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides we run the risk of those pollutants ending up in our waterways.
This is due to our planets geomorphic processes, interactions between landscapes, hydrology, and humans. For instance, as we apply fertilizers, which are rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, our crops only will use a certain percentage of that.
The rest will attach itself chemically to whatever it can and end up in the waterways. The conservation practices that CREP pays you to implement, provides a natural filter that help mitigate that process.