Date of this Version
The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) reflects advancement in U.S. Department of Agriculture agricultural policy by addressing agriculturally related conservation on a multi-farm, landscape scale and establishing funding support and partnerships with state and non-governmental organizations. Underway in 25 states, with more being planned, the CREP addresses environmental issues on the farmed landscape with implications for environmental quality potentially reaching thousands of miles away from where program conservation practices are established. Most CREPs have been initiated only within the last 4 years. Monitoring programs to evaluate CREP performance have been established, but because of time needed to establish vegetative covers, growing participation in the programs over time, and the complexities of landscape-level analysis, quantifiable results are limited. Environmental data related to CREP effects on water quality and wildlife habitats are being collected for future assessments and refinement of the program. By addressing state-identified priorities, landowner needs, and social issues, the CREP offers substantial promise to fully integrate economically viable agricultural production and effective conservation.