Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Reminder: Apply Now For $10 Million In REAP Farm Conservation Tax Credits

The Department of Agriculture Wednesday reminded landowners $10 million dollars in tax credits are available to help farmers statewide implement best management practices (BMPs) to prevent water pollution or purchase conservation equipment through 2018-19 Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Program tax credits.
This is a first-come, first-served program.
REAP is a Pennsylvania tax credit program for agricultural producers who install BMPs or make equipment purchases that reduce nutrient and sediment runoff, which improves Pennsylvania’s streams and watersheds.
The program is administered by the State Conservation Commission, which provides support and oversight to the state's 66 county conservation districts.
“Through a dozen years of service to our producers, REAP has made it possible for more than 2,100 producers to improve the stewardship of their land,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “From manure storage to streambank buffers to precision ag equipment, REAP supports both viable farms and healthy waterways. Start thinking now about how REAP-eligible products could improve the productivity and profitability of your farm.”
Farmers may receive tax credits of up to $150,000 per agricultural operation for 50 to 75 percent of a project’s cost.
The most common projects approved are for no-till planting and precision ag equipment, waste storage facilities, conservation plans, Nutrient Management Plans, and protecting animal heavy use areas like barnyards.
Cover crops and riparian stream buffers are also common REAP-eligible practices. REAP can be used in conjunction with other funding sources such as the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) or the Chesapeake Bay Program to help install BMPs.
For projects that include the proposed purchase of equipment, the equipment must be delivered by June 30, 2019. For projects involving the implementation of structural BMPs, all BMPs and BMP components must be complete by June 30, 2020, to be eligible.
REAP applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The only eligibility requirement is that producers must be in compliance with the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law.
Private investors may act as project sponsors by providing capital in exchange for tax credits. Any individual or business subject to taxation through personal income tax, corporate net income tax, the bank shares tax or others is eligible to participate in REAP.
Since the program began in 2007, REAP has awarded tax credits to more than 5,200 projects totaling more than $76 million.
The improvements have kept nearly five million pounds of nitrogen, nearly 200,000 pounds of phosphorus, and more than 200,000 tons of sediment.
Private investments in REAP have also contributed to the conservation projects, which in total are worth more than $196 million.
The 2018-19 REAP application packet, as well as other information about REAP, is available on the Department of Agriculture’s REAP webpage or by contacting Joel Semke at 717-705-4032 or by sending email to:
For more information about Pennsylvania’s efforts to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, visit DEP’s Watershed Implementation Plan webpage.
DCNR Multifunction Buffer Grants
Landowners can also apply for grants to install multifunctional riparian forest buffers from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and PennVEST.  The deadline for applications is September 28. Click Here for more.
Small Business Advantage Grants
For the first time, DEP is accepting applications for projects to improve water quality under the Small Business Advantage Grants.  This first-come, first served program has $1 million available to fund projects. Click Here for more.
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