Meadow with blooming lupine, Indian brush and other flowers.

What Do Illinois Farmers Need to Know About CREP?

What is CREP?

Reinstated in 2022, CREP is a voluntary Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program that falls under CRP. This program allows both farmers and ranchers to get help in building and strengthening their land, as well as helping to grow and conserve the surrounding habitat, wildlife, and plant life. In Illinois, CREP is also intended to help reduce the overall amount of chemicals and sediment from farming and ranch lands from entering bodies of water nearby, such as the Kaskaskia and Illinois Rivers, tributaries of the Mississippi River. Learn more about the history of CREP and how you as a landowner can apply and benefit here.

What are the main goals of CREP?

CREP was originally formed in 1998 but ended up being shut down due to a lack of funding. Since it was reintroduced in 2022, its main goal has been conservation of both land and wildlife. The three biggest aims for CREP are:

  1. Reduce sediment and nutrient runoff
  2. Increase avian populations
  3. Increase native fish and aquatic insect species Learn more about the goals of CREP here. If you’re a farmer or landowner, consider enrolling in the CREP. For over 20 years we have helped landowners across the country with CRP and CREP documentation and more. Our experts at FDC Enterprises are ready to help you get started today.

Are you eligible for the Illinois CREP? Here are a few of the requirements:

For you to be eligible, your land must be in Illinois and at least 5% of the land per contract must be located within the project areas. Land must be either cropland or marginal pastureland. To learn more about what requirements there are and how to manage the process, reach out to us at FDCE.

Is CREP a mandatory program for farmers?

While this program is not mandatory, it is highly recommended for landowners to apply for CREP. By enrolling in the Illinois CREP, farmers and landowners can receive a 50% cost-share reimbursement, special annual payments, and additional payment incentives from both federal and state funding. If you are a private landowner or producer in Illinois and interested in enrolling, reach out to us at FDCE to get started.