Riparian Buffer - Grass Filter Strip Assistance:
Side-by-Side Comparison of Programs
AgBMP Loan Program

AgBMP Loan for Grass Filter Strip: In counties where Filter Strips qualify for AgBMP Loans and funds are available, the loan has a 3% interest rate and helps finance the purchase of supplies and services needed to establish the Filter Strip.  The loan may be combined with incentive or cost share payments from other programs.

AgBMP loan applications are typically accepted year-round.  To inquire, contact your local Soil & Water Conservation District.



CRP Continuous Signup (CCRP)

Grass Filter Strip Payment: The payment consists of several parts: A land rental payment plus an additional 20% rental rate incentive payment is received annually for the 10-15 year life of the contract. (In 2008, CRP rental rates for this practice in Minnesota ranged from $45.48 to $187.06 per acre). A one-time cost-share payment covers 50% of the cost of eligible products and services necessary to establish and maintain the practice, such as seeds and site preparation. Two one-time special incentive payments are received up-front -- a Signup Incentive Payment of $10/acre per year enrolled (up to 10 years) and a Practice Incentive Payment equal to 40% of the total eligible cost of establishing the practice.  A mid-contract maintenance payment defrays the cost of required management activities.

See CCRP - Grass Filter Strip Payment Details for more information, including land rental rates by county (Appendix A) and cost-sharable products/services for this practice (Appendix B).

CCRP signup opportunities are ongoing year-round. To inquire, contact your local  USDA Farm Service Agency office.

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
* payment information not currently available

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

EQIP Payment for Grass Filter Strip: One-time payment of $473 to $564 per acre depending on the type and diversity of grasses/legumes/forbs and whether land shaping is needed to establish the buffer. EQIP also offers 13¢/foot to establish vegetative barriers (permanent strips of stiff, dense vegetation) along the general contour of slopes or across concentrated flow areas to enhance the functioning of this practice. Higher payment rates apply to Historically Underserved Participants. See EQIP Grass Filter Strip payment details for more information.

EQIP applications are accepted anytime but there are deadlines for each funding cycle, typically one or two a year. To inquire, contact your local USDA Natural Resources 

State Cost-Share Program

Riparian Buffer – Grass Filter Strip Payment: A one-time cost share payment covering up to 75% of the eligible costs for establishing a new filter strip. This includes filter strips that are implemented as part of livestock waste management. Local SWCDs may set a payment rate lower than the statewide maximum of 75%. Higher cost share percentages may be targeted at areas identified with high priority erosion and water quality problems. 

See State Cost Share – Riparian Buffer - Grass Filter Strip Payment Details for more information. 

To inquire, contact your local Soil & Water Conservation District.

Carbon Credit Programs

Grass Filter Strip Payment: Riparian grass filter strips are eligible for a seeded grass carbon credit payment from the Farmers Union Carbon Credit Programor a cropland carbon credit payment from the AgraGate Climate Credits Corporation. (AgraGate’s cropland offset category includes permanent grass plantings.) Payments fluctuate based on the market price of carbon dioxide; see the Chicago Climate Exchange for the current price.

See Carbon Credit – Riparian Buffer Grass Filter Strip Payment Details for more information.

Local & Regional Programs

Special financial incentives are sometimes offered to landowners in a particular county or watershed for selected conservation practices for a limited time – usually as part of a special initiative funded by a federal or state grant. To find out if any special conservation incentives are offered in your area at this time, contact your local Soil & Water Conservation District, watershed organization, county, Resource Conservation & Development office or other local contacts.

For examples of special local & regional offers or information about the enabling grant programs, click on Local & Regional Programs at the top of this column.





Other Programs

To browse other potential sources of financial or free technical assistance for establishing, renovating, managing or protecting a Grass Filter Strip adjacent to water, click on Other Programs at the top of this column, with special attention to Native Prairie programs, esp. the Native Buffer Cost Share Program; Wildlife & Habitat programs, esp. the Partners for Fish & Wildlife and Trout Unlimited’s Embrace-A-Stream programs; and Sustainable Ag & Working Land programs.