In order to encourage and enable Best Management Practices, Pennsylvania has adopted a tax incentive program called the Resource Enhancement and Protection, or REAP for short. REAP gives tax credits for farmers that have installed or implemented BMPs to conserve and protect our natural resources. These tax credits can range from 50% to 75% of the cost of the BMP, for up to a total of $150,000.
Eligible BMPs include no-till equipment, stream bank fencing, riparian buffers, cover crop seed, manure storage systems, BMPs for ACAs, roof runoff systems, filter strips, and many more.
Confirmation of an Agricultural Erosion and Sediment Plan and either a Nutrient Management or Manure Management Plan is required to be performed by a qualified individual (such as LCCD personnel). If you do not have these plans, do not worry, because the cost to develop these plans may be eligible for tax credits as well.
There are three ways to take advantage of REAP tax credits after the farmer has implemented the BMPs. He can use the tax credits himself, which can be spread out over ten years, he can sell them to a broker, or he can have a sponsor pay for the BMPs and the sponsor makes use of the tax credits.
If you would like more information, click this link to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. There, you can also find the application and view the programs rules.
If you need assistance in filling out your REAP application, or you need a signature to confirm your E&S and Manure Management plans are implemented, please contact Lehigh County Conservation District’s Agricultural Resource Conservationist.