HARRISBURG, Pa. — Nearly $1.3 million in tax credits are still available to farmers who purchase on-farm conservation equipment or install best management practices through the Resource Enhancement and Protection, or REAP, program.
REAP is a tax credit program for agricultural producers who enlist private support to reduce erosion and sedimentation that impacts Pennsylvania’s watersheds.
The program, administered by the State Conservation Commission, helps producers purchase conservation equipment and materials to help protect the environment.
“REAP helps producers farm for the future without compromising the needs of the present,” said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. “This program has helped producers improve their operation while advancing the health of our watersheds.”
Producers with proposed or completed projects can submit applications immediately. The projects will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Private investors often provide capital to producers as a project is approved in return for tax credits. Any individual or business subject to taxation under personal income tax, corporate net income tax, bank shares tax or others is eligible to participate in REAP.
Since REAP began in 2007, 3,498 projects worth more than $48.2 million have been approved. More than $103 million in public and private investments were made to implement these projects.
REAP has helped reduce more than 11 million pounds of nitrogen, 859,485 pounds of phosphorus and 877,059 pounds of sediment through 2011.
Farmers can receive tax credits of up to $150,000 per agricultural operation for 50 or 75 percent of the total project cost.
The most common projects approved are for no-till planting equipment, materials for waste storage facilities, manure management plans and protecting heavy animal use areas like barnyards.
Applications for the 2012-13 REAP program are available at www.pda.state.pa.us/REAP under “Forms” or by calling 717-787-8821.