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Farm Bill Conservation Programs

Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.

~Wendell Berry

The conservation provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill will provide conservation opportunities for farmers and ranchers for years to come. The new provisions build on the conservation gains made by farmers and ranchers through the 1985,1996, 2002, and 2008 Farm Bills. They simplify existing programs and create new programs to address high priority environmental goals.  To find out more, visit the Indiana NRCS page and the NRCS Farm Bill page.

Some of the programs most participated in throughout St. Joseph County include:


  • CRP (Conservation Reserve Program): Administered by the Farm Service Agency. Provides rental payments to producers who plant sensitive lands (such as Highly Erodible Land) to long-term cover. Cover options include trees, cool season grasses, and warm season grasses. Cost share for establishing conservation cover is 50%. 

  • ACEP (Agricultural Conservation Easement Program):  Administered by the NRCS, ACEP is a new program that consolidates three former programs:

    • Wetlands Reserve Program

    • Grassland Reserve Program

    • Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program

  • EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program): Administered by the NRCS, EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices, or activities like conservation planning, that address natural resource concerns on their land.

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