More than $13 million in tax credits is now available to Pennsylvania farmers for measures to improve soil and water quality.
Tax credits through Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) can be combined with other state funding, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Chesapeake Bay Program or Conservation Excellence Grants.
The department is now accepting applications for REAP tax credits from producers who implement best management practices or buy equipment to reduce nutrient and sediment runoff, enhancing soil and improving the quality of Pennsylvania’s waterways.
This is the fourth year of increased funding and expanded eligibility for the program under the PA Farm Bill. Farmers may receive up to $250,000 in any seven-year period, and spouses filing jointly can use REAP tax credits.
Examples of funded projects include no-till planting and precision ag equipment, waste storage facilities, conservation plans, and nutrient management plans. Measures that limit runoff from high animal traffic areas such as barnyards, as well as cover crops and riparian stream buffers that prevent erosion and keep nutrients out of streams, also are common REAP-eligible practices.
Farmers may receive REAP tax credits of 50% to 75% of the project’s eligible out-of-pocket costs. Farmers whose operation is in a watershed with an EPA-mandated total maximum daily load (TMDL) can receive REAP tax credits of 90% of out-of-pocket costs for some projects.
REAP applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Baseline eligibility includes compliance with the PA Clean Streams Law and the Pennsylvania Nutrient and Odor Management Law.
Private investors may act as project sponsors by providing capital in exchange for tax credits, which allows farmers to receive funds quicker and increases lenders’ confidence.
Since the program began in 2007, REAP has awarded $129 million in tax credits to more than 8,000 projects. Private investments in REAP have also contributed to the conservation projects, which in total are worth $350 million.
More information about REAP, including the 2022-23 application packet, program guidelines and sponsorship process, is available at agriculture.pa.gov.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture is accepting nominations of farmers and farm families for the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to those who have dedicated their lives to the state’s leading industry.
Nominations are due Oct. 7. Those selected for induction will be honored during the Taste of Maryland Agriculture event Feb. 2. Any family that derives its income principally from farming is eligible for the award.
The Hall of Fame was established in 1991 with the induction of Roland and Mildred Darcey of Prince George’s County; Y.D. and Lonnie Hance of Calvert County; and C. Rodman and Jean Myers of Frederick County. In total, the Hall of Fame now honors 54 farm families from all 23 counties.
Applicants must work with their county Extension office in preparing the application, which should include as much information about the family as possible and address agricultural leadership, community activities, and technological and management advancements — for example, soil and water conservation, marketing initiatives, machinery innovations and safety strategies.
Nominations must include signatures from a local committee that is made up of the county Extension agent, county Farm Bureau president and Soil Conservation District representative. Only one farm family per county can be considered.
The selection committee includes the dean of the University of Maryland’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the president of the Maryland Farm Bureau, and members of the agricultural community.
For more information, contact Jessica O’Sullivan at 410-841-5882 or [email protected].