Partnership will Clean Up Illinois River Watershed

CREP agreement to enroll 15,000 acres.

USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation and the state of Arkansas have entered into a new Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program agreement to reduce nutrient, bacterial and sediment loading in the Illinois River Watersheds.

"USDA is proud to work with the state of Arkansas to enroll up to 15,000 acres of eligible cropland and marginal pastureland to enhance the water quality, biological diversity and aquatic habitats of the Illinois River Watersheds," said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

The goal of the agreement is reducing 10,000 tons of sediment loading into streams and waterways through the use of riparian buffers and filter strips. Producers will be able to enter into permanent or long-term easement agreements because of financial and technical assistance from the program.

The Farm Service Agency will administer this Arkansas State CREP project on behalf of CCC, working with the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, the state of Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, as well as with other state CREP partners.

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