SACRAMENTO, June 4, 2019 – The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has selected 217 projects for award, totaling approximately $12.48 million in grant requests, through its Healthy Soils Program. This program encourages farmers and ranchers to implement practices that reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases, sequesters carbon in soils and improves soil health.
“California leads the nation in supporting innovative climate smart agriculture programs that address on-farm challenges and promote agricultural and environmental sustainability,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross, “Soil health is key to agricultural productivity and food security. Capturing atmospheric carbon and storing it in the soil enhances soil health for climate change and other benefits such as nutrient, water and dust management."
The $12.48 million in Healthy Soils Program funding is distributed between direct farmer incentives and on-farm demonstration projects. CDFA has selected 194 projects totaling $8.7 million in funding across 45 counties for the Incentives Program, and 23 projects totaling $3.8 million in funding across 16 counties for the Demonstration Program. Both programs promote widespread adoption of conservation management practices statewide. Projects selected for funding span the State with a broad distribution of coastal counties such as Mendocino, Marin and Santa Barbara, valley counties such as Yolo, San Joaquin and Kern, desert counties such as Riverside and foothill counties such as Nevada, Placer and Amador. Projects will implement practices including but not limited to compost application, cover-crops, reduced or no-tillage, and establishment of permanent woody or herbaceous cover on California’s farm and ranch lands.
The Healthy Soils Program was established as part of the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration between state agencies to support the development of healthy soils in California. The program is funded through the California Climate Investments and the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018.
For details, visit the HSP Incentives Program website at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/IncentivesProgram.html and HSP Demonstration Projects website at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/HealthySoils/DemonstrationProjects.html.
The 2018 Healthy Soils Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap and Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website at: www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov