first published in the June 2022 Equiery
From the Maryland Department of Agriculture:
Maryland farmers who are enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) with contracts due to expire on September 30, 2022, 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 per acre as an incentive for CLEAR30-approved contracts in Maryland.
“With CLEAR30, Maryland producers 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. We are extending our one-time bonus program to encourage more Maryland farmers to take advantage of this opportunity.”
The CLEAR30 initiative provides incentives to Maryland producers who agree to implement long-term water quality improvement practices on their land for the next 30 years by building on their original 10 to 15-year CRP and CREP contracts.
MDA’s bonus payment of $1,000 per acre applies to all accepted CLEAR30 contracts except grass waterways and contour grass strips.
Current CRP and CREP enrollees with contracts that expire before September 30, 2022, should contact their local USDA Service Center to apply for CLEAR30. For more information on CLEAR30, please visit the USDA Farm Service Agency website. For questions or details on MDA’s bonus payment, please contact Alisha Mulkey at firstname.lastname@example.org.