$1M in New Conservation Incentives Available for Virginia Counties in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

January 2017


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$1M in New Conservation Incentives Available for Virginia Counties in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

On January 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Virginia Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced $1 million in additional conservation funding available to eligible farmers and landowners in Virginia who operate eligible land within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The additional benefits are intended to encourage establishment of riparian forest buffers that improve water quality in the bay. 

USDA is providing a new incentive, the Chesapeake Bay Incentive Payment (CBIP), to enroll land in the Virginia Chesapeake Bay Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) dedicated to riparian forest buffers. A riparian forest buffer is an area of trees and shrubs located adjacent to streams, lakes, ponds and other waterbodies. This conservation practice helps improve water quality by filtering nutrients and sediment from surface water runoff from adjacent agricultural fields.  

The additional incentive, is based on the average width of the riparian buffer established. USDA will provide a one-time CBIP of $100 to $300 per acre to eligible producers for enrolling eligible land within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.


Through the Virginia Chesapeake Bay CREP, federal and state resources are made available to program participants who voluntarily enroll eligible land and enter into 10 to 15 year conservation contracts. Signup is on a continuous basis. To be eligible, land must be located in the project area and be either cropland or marginal pastureland.  The CBIP is provided at the time of contract approval and is in addition to the Signup Incentive (SIP) and Practice Incentive Payments (PIP), as well as other cost-share and rental payment provided through CREP. 

The CBIP is effective on February 2, 2017 and sign-up is underway now.  CBIP is available on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted.  Please visit your local FSA Office for more information and to submit an offer for enrollment.

To find your local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov. To learn more about FSA’s conservation programs, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/conservation.

Please contact your local FSA Office.