As of December 31, 2013, there were 1,324 active CRP contracts within Starke County. These contracts contained a total of 14,446 acres.
More recently, the conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) has also been available for eligible acres and landowners within the Tippecanoe River Watershed. The Tippecanoe River Watershed includes most of North Bend Township and very small sections of southern Wayne and Railroad Townships. Under CREP, additional financial incentives, primarily provided by the State, are available for some of the continuous sign-up practices. Common CREP practices include riparian buffers, bottomland tree plantings, and strips of warm season grasses, trees or wildlife plantings adjacent to bodies of water. Options for enrollment of certain acreage under easements are also available under CREP. As of December 31, there were 972.4 acres enrolled under CREP in Starke County. This acreage was included within 73 contracts. This acreage is also included within the overall CRP totals provided in previous paragraphs. In early 2008, enrollment began under CRP practices titled “State Acreages Wildlife Enhancement” or SAFE. In Indiana, four project areas were established which provide for acres to be devoted for the purpose of benefiting specific threatened and endangered species. Starke County is included under the State project areas for Indiana Bat and Northern Bobwhite Quail. Eligibility requirements in regards to ownership and cropping history are the same as for other CRP enrollments. Acreage devoted to the development of habitat for the Indiana Bat must be planted to a selected list of trees while acreage devoted to the development of the Northern Bobwhite Quail must be planted to selected warm season grasses and forbs. SAFE is a program with a capped acreage. This acreage cap has been met and no further acreage enrollment will be permitted. As of December 31, there were 48 contracts enrolled in SAFE within Starke County, containing a total of 1,004.9 acres. Acreages enrolled under SAFE are included under the CRP acreage total.