ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland farmers who are enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) with contracts due to expire on Sept. 30, 2021, now have the opportunity to transition to a 30-year contract option through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Clean Lakes, Estuaries, And Rivers initiative (CLEAR30). To encourage participation, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) is offering a one-time bonus payment of $1,000/acre as an incentive for CLEAR30-approved contracts in Maryland.
The CLEAR30 initiative provides an opportunity for Maryland producers to receive incentives for a 30-year commitment to water quality practices on their land, building on their original 10- to 15-year CRP and CREP contracts.
“With CLEAR30, Maryland producers now have the opportunity to commit to water quality improvement practices that will be implemented for the next 30 years,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “Having these practices in place long term will help Maryland decrease runoff, and help our state meet our Chesapeake Bay goals.”
MDA’s bonus payment of $1,000/acre will be eligible on accepted CLEAR30 contracts except for grass waterways and contour grass strips.
Current CRP and CREP enrollees with contracts expiring before Sept. 30, 2021, must apply with a local USDA Service Center before Aug. 6, 2021. Farmers interested in MDA’s $1,000/acre signup bonus, should contact their local soil conservation district before Aug. 6, 2021.
“The benefits of CLEAR30 enrollment and the additional bonus payment from the department, makes this opportunity a win-win for Maryland farmers and the environment,” said Sec. Bartenfelder.