CDFA’S Healthy Soils Program Selects 217 Projects for $12.48 Million in Grants

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, sequester carbon in soils, and improve 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 and the HSP Demonstration Projects website.

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This article was submitted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and was originally published at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/egov/Press_Releases/Press_Release.asp?PRnum=19-040.

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