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2016 REAP Program

Posted: August 3, 2016

Earn tax credits for BMPs that will enhance farm production and protect natural resources. The Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program operates on a first come, first serve basis. Applications for proposed projects will be accepted beginning August 15.

Eligible practices under REAP include cover crops for the first year, getting a conservation or nutrient management plan written, purchase of some types of new or used equipment, fencing for prescribed grazing, and some out-of-pocket costs associated with EQIP BMPs.

The State Conservation Commission began accepting applications for completed projects on August 1, 2016. Applications that involve proposed projects will be accepted beginning August 15, 2016. As usual, applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. A deadline for applications will be established as funding is exhausted. The FY 2016 REAP Guidelines and Application packet is available on the REAP webpage.

Eligible applicants receive between 50% and 75% of project costs in the form of State tax credits for up to $150,000 per agricultural operation. Applicants can apply for proposed projects and/or completed projects.

I’d encourage ALL farmers to consider the program – It includes many eligible practices that people may be doing anyway, such as cover crops for the first year, getting a conservation or nutrient management plan written, purchase of some types of new or used equipment, fencing for prescribed grazing, and some out-of-pocket costs associated with EQIP BMPs.

Additionally, I frequently hear farmers say that don’t apply because they don’t need the tax credits. However, the tax credits can be used incrementally (as needed) for up to 15 years to pay PA state income tax. Additionally, farmers and landowners can elect to sell the tax credits after 1 year to another PA taxpayer. There are brokers available to assist in the sale.

Listed below are a few of the BMPs/projects for which farmers can use REAP to help offset out-of-pocket expenses; and a few revisions to the FY 2016 Program.

  1. Precision Nutrient Application Equipment:
    Introduced to the Program in FY2015, precision ag components that are necessary to enable variable rate spreading of nutrients are eligible for REAP credits – at 50% of purchase price. For FY2016 the REAP dealer certification page for this equipment (p13) has been revised to provide clarity and make the process more efficient.
  2. Planning:
    As always, Conservation/Ag E&S Plans and Act 38 Nutrient Management/ Manure Management Plans are eligible for REAP credits at 75% of out-of-pocket costs. The Commission is highlighting this opportunity for farmers to offset the cost of planning to coincide with PA’s efforts to increase the number of farms in compliance with State law.
  3. Cover Crops:
    As always, REAP provides credits for 50% of the cost of establishing cover crops. Plantings of multi-species cover crops are eligible for higher reimbursement.
  4. The only other change for FY2016 is a slight revision of the dealer certification page for Low Disturbance Residue Management Equipment (p12). All other aspects of the program remain unchanged from FY2015.

If you have questions contact your local Conservation District office.

Contact Information

Andrew Frankenfield
  • Extension Educator, Agronomy
Email:
Phone: 610-489-4315