Thursday, August 25, 2022

Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Still Time To Apply For First-Come, First Served REAP Tax Credits To Support Farm Conservation Projects

A statewide program is offering $13 million in tax credits to help Pennsylvania farmers reap the benefits of installing conservation practices that improve long-term viability, keep valuable soil on the land, and reduce pollution flowing into local rivers and streams.

Tax credits through the Resource Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP) program offset 50 to 75 percent of the costs of no-till planting and precision ag equipment, cover crops, forested streamside buffers, barnyard improvements, waste storage facilities, conservation plans, Nutrient Management Plans, and other practices.

“No-till planting, cover crops, and forested buffers also sequester carbon and help the farm be more resilient to extreme weather with greater drought tolerance and water infiltration during downpours,” said Kelly O’Neill, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Agricultural Policy Analyst in Pennsylvania.

“Without REAP tax credits, many farms would not be able to adopt these practices due to the rising costs of supplies and equipment, and uncertain prices for their products,” O’Neill added.

According to the State Conservation Commission, REAP has helped improve environmental stewardship and economic viability on over 3,000 farming operations across the Commonwealth, since 2007.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation started and led a diverse coalition that successfully advocated for the creation of REAP in 2007. It was amended in 2019 as part of the Pennsylvania Farm Bill and REAP has received funding increases in the years since.

According to the State Conservation Commission, the REAP program approved applications from 380 eligible agricultural operations from 62 counties in fiscal year 2020. 

That year, the program also helped to generate more than $36 million in private and public investments in the local economy for the implementation of conservation practices and equipment.

Click Here to learn more about the PA Farm Bill and to apply for the first-come, first-served REAP program

For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here to support their work.

Also visit the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership to learn how you can help clean water grow on trees.

CBF has over 275,000 members in Bay Watershed.

How Clean Is Your Stream?

Check DEP’s 2022 Water Quality Report to find out how clean streams are near you.

(Photo: Example of no-till cover crop.)

[Posted: August 25, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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