The USDA has announced the addition of new partner types to expand opportunities in voluntary conservation for U.S. ag producers and landowners. Leveraging its authority under the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), USDA has updated CREP rules regarding matching fund requirements and garnering additional staff to work directly with partners for streamlined efforts. A December 2019 rule requires 50% matching funds from partners be in the form of direct payments, limiting partners that the rule would prove difficult for. With the recent change, partners can now participate through in-kind contributions or technical assistance.

Partner-driven efforts, along with recent updates, make CREP a highly effective, flexible program. Currently, CREP has 34 projects in 26 states with more than 860,000 enrolled acres.

Read more on USDA changes to this conservation enhancement program.