The CREP program can be a particularly attractive option for producers who experience erosion or frequent flooding on parts of their farm.


In a nutshell, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) pays farmers to retire and restore land that erodes easily or floods often. CREP is 100% voluntary for farmers. CREP is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Services Agency, and many Conservation Districts in Pennsylvania can help farmers get enrolled.

CREP seeks to be a win-win for the landowner and the public at large:

  • Erodible and flood-prone fields require more attention and produce less revenue per acre than productive farmland. Enrolling land in CREP can allow a farmer to focus their efforts on their own best land. And the cash payments can help a farmer lease good land to make up for the acres taken out of production.

  • Farming erodible and flood-prone land has environmental consequences that affect everyone. As fields erode, the soil chokes local streams, smothering habitat, and worsening flooding problems downstream. Poor soil releases more fertilizer and pesticides into local bodies of water than healthy soil.

A typical CREP project in Pennsylvania project looks like this: A farmer signs a 10-15 year contract to enroll their least productive acres in the program. In return, the farmer receives reimbursements from the U.S. and state governments to cover their costs for reforesting and replanting to control erosion and provide wildlife habitat. After that, they receive an annual payment of between ~$20 and ~$230 per acre, per year, for the life of the contract.

If there are livestock, CREP helps keep the creek and the animals safe from each other. CREP may be able to help cover the cost of fencing.

But there are many non-typical projects that are different from the ones described above. If you have some acres that don't just pull their weight, CREP just might be the answer.

You can see some hypothetical cost scenarios here, and read some stories of actual CREP participants here.

Find out if CREP is right for you! If you'd like to ask some questions, click here and we will have a local CREP planner contact you for a no-obligation chat.

About Us

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Outreach Program Office was created and is maintained by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts (PACD). This website is a resource for current CREP participants as well as potential new ones. It is a clearinghouse for program information, resources and enrollment guidelines for participants and also partners who are also promoting the program.