Pa. adds opportunity for farmers to benefit from conservation practices

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania farmers now have a second opportunity to apply for a tax credit program that rewards them for conservation practices that reduce erosion and sedimentation.

Guidelines and applications for the 2008-2009 Resource Enhancement and Protection tax credit program, or REAP, are now available at www.agriculture.state.pa.us/REAP.

For those without Internet access, the commission can mail an application.

What it is

Resource Enhancement and Protection is administered by the state conservation commission and encourages farmers to use conservation best management practices to reduce erosion and sedimentation impacting Pennsylvania’s streams and watersheds.

Applications will be accepted by the commission beginning Aug. 4 on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications postmarked July 30 or earlier will be returned.

Farmers can receive tax credits of up to $150,000 per agricultural operation for 50 percent or 75 percent of the total cost of a conservation project, depending on the best management practice implemented.

Farmers may also qualify for a 50 percent tax credit to purchase no-till planting equipment.

Plans

Applicants are encouraged to work with local county conservation districts or the Natural Resources Conservation Service before applying to ensure current plans are in place for each farming operation, including conservation, agricultural erosion and sedimentation control and nutrient management plans, if required.

Fore more information about the program, contact program administrator Mary Bender at 717-787-8821 or via mabender@state.pa.us.

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