Financial Help for Farmers with Flooding

For many Wisconsin farmers the weather this year has made planting some of their fields very challenging.

The State of Wisconsin has another option for landowners with fields next to ditches, streams, lakes or wetlands. This program is called the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Enrollment for the program was opened on June 3rd after being closed for 8 months waiting for the passage of the new farm bill.

Under this program the landowners can enroll with a 15 year contract or perpetual easement. There is no minimum on the number of acres needed to enroll in the program and the land adjacent to the acreage can remain in production. In exchange for a per acre payment the landowner agrees to plant grass filter strips or trees and shrubs to act as buffers between the water and the farmland in production.

Enrollees are eligible to receive at least three types of payments:

1) Annual payments for crop land range from $95 to $300 an acre with an average of $200. For pasture land the payments are $45 to $80 an acre with an average of $60

2) One time incentives based on the average rental rate of the enrolled land. These payments average $250 an acre for 15 year contracts and $2,000 an acre for perpetual easements.

3) Practice payments – CREP will cover at least 70 percent of the costs of installing the required conservation practices.

A total of 54 counties in Wisconsin have at least some land that is eligible for the program. To be eligible the land must have been in crop production for four out of the six most recent years or qualify as marginal pasture land. In addition the land must meet the minimum distance requirements to streams or bodies of water.

A typical CREP site will usually consist of a buffer ranging from 20 to 150 feet wide along streams and cover an average area of 10 acres per participant. This is another opportunity for landowners to get some guaranteed income from land that is otherwise prone to flooding and producing low yields.

For more information on the program or to see if your land is eligible go to www.datcp.wi.gov and search for CREP or contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency office. Contact a talented agribusiness accountant at KerberRose to learn more about our accounting services www.kerberrose.com. KerberRose, Your Trusted Advisor.

Brian Lange

About the Author

Brian Lange
Brian manages the Clintonville office of KerberRose. He works with a variety of small to medium size businesses, providing financial statement preparation and tax planning and compliance services. With his background in agriculture, Brian is able to provide a level of service to the local farming community that is not always available at other accounting firms.

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