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New MN CREP enrollment begins Monday, May 15

Landowners have a new option to protect their environmentally sensitive cropland with the introduction of the Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (MN CREP). The kick-off for the MN CREP continuous sign-up begins May 15.
MN CREP is a voluntary state-federal program designed to improve water quality and habitat conservation.  It will protect and restore up to 60,000 acres of marginal cropland across 54 southern and western Minnesota counties, using buffer strips, wetland restoration, and drinking water wellhead protection.
Native plantings on those acres will filter water, prevent erosion, and provide critical habitat for countless grassland species including badgers, meadowlarks, and monarch butterflies.
The program is funded with approximately $350 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and $150 million needed from state sources including: Clean Water Fund, Outdoor Heritage Fund, Capital Investment (bonding), and the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. MN CREP is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and BWSR, but involves numerous partners including Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Health, and Pollution Control Agency, as well as local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) staff.  MN CREP is also supported by a coalition of more than 70 state and national organizations and groups.
Landowners wanting to learn more about MN CREP can contact their local FSA/Natural Resources Conservation Service/SWCD office.  They can also visit www.bwsr.state.mn.us/crep.