Funding Alternatives to Ag Open Burning in San Joaquin Valley
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is accepting applications for the Alternatives to Agricultural Open Burning Incentive Program with $178 million available in grant funding. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted.
What is the Alternatives to Agricultural Open Burning Incentive Program? This program provides incentives to commercial agricultural operations located within San Joaquin Valley Air District boundaries (including California’s San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern Counties) to chip or shred agricultural material and use for the following: soil incorporation (whole orchard /vineyard recycling), on-site land application, or off-site beneficial re-use (mulch, composting, land application near roadways for dust suppression, and other approved beneficial re-use of the chipped material beyond soil incorporation or land application). Incentive amounts are based on the number of acres removed and the final disposition of agricultural material.
Who is eligible to apply? Commercial agricultural operations that are located within San Joaquin Valley Air District boundaries are eligible to apply. Eligible crop types for this program are orchard and vineyard removals.
Chipping contractors are not eligible to apply for this program. Third parties may submit an application and receive a voucher with authorization from a grower on a case-by-case basis.
What are the project types and maximum incentive amounts? There are three projects types:
- Chipping with Soil Incorporation (whole orchard/vineyard recycling): Projects that engage in soil incorporation are eligible for a maximum incentive of $600 per acre for orchards; $800 per acre for cane-pruned vineyards; and $1,300 per acre for cordon-pruned vineyards.
- Chipping without Soil Incorporation (on-site land application): These projects are eligible for $300 per acre for orchards; $500 per acre for cane-pruned vineyards; and $1,000 per acre for cordon-pruned vineyards.
- Off-site Beneficial Re-use (mulching, composting, land application near roadways for dust suppression): Projects that engage in off-site beneficial re-use are eligible for $600 per acre for orchards; $800 per acre for cane-pruned vineyards; and $1,300 per acre for cordon-pruned vineyards.
Additional incentive of $100 per acre is provided for each incentive category to agricultural operations with less than 100 total acres within the San Joaquin Valley.
What are the program requirements? The program requirements are as follows:
- Grower and crop location must be within the Valley Air District boundaries.
- Funding for orchard and vineyard removals (as defined above) must be for soil incorporation (whole orchard/vineyard recycling), on-site land application, off-site beneficial re-use (such as much, composting, and land application near roadways for dust suppression) or other District approved practice.
- Chipped material is not to be used in any combustion processes such as biomass power generation, pyrolysis, or air curtain burners.
- Eligible project methods include chipping or shredding of agricultural materials in orchards and vineyards. The San Joaquin Valley Air District may, in its discretion, approve other methods upon request.
- Successful applicants will receive vouchers that will be issued to, and redeemed by the grower who applied for this program. Applicants are not to make any non-refundable payments, or begin chipping orchard or vineyard removal materials on this project until they receive this voucher.
- Concurrent funding through a National Resources Conservation Services program is allowed, however any other funding that the applicant applied for or is planning to apply for must be disclosed on the application.
- Growers must certify the continued agricultural use of the property from which the orchard was removed.
What is the application process? Applicants are to submit a complete application packet to the San Joaquin Valley Air District with the following items included:
- Completed and signed application submitted through this online portal;
- IRS Form W-9;
- Confirmation of crop/acreage through the form of a site map, google map or assessor’s map;
- Dated and itemized quote from service provider(s) for the planned activities:
- The quote must include specific information and associated costs with pruning/wire/support removal (vineyards), pushing/piling, chipping/shredding, spreading, soil incorporation (ripping/discing), hauling (beneficial re-use), move-in fees, and any additional costs.
- Documentation of estimated costs by participating grower, if additional costs are beyond those on the quote(s) for contracted services.
If the applicant is successful, San Joaquin Valley Air District staff will schedule a pre-inspection of the orchard and/or agricultural material. Upon the completion of a successful pre-inspection, a voucher will be issued to the applicant via mail or email. The applicant will have 12 months from the date the on the voucher to complete the project. Extensions may be approved on a case-by-case basis upon written request from the applicant.
What is the reimbursement process?
Once the project is complete, the applicant will submit a claim for payment packet including the following:
- Completed and signed voucher;
- Completed and signed Claim for Payment Form;
- Completed Breakdown of Services and Costs Form;
- Invoice(s) from contractor services showing the breakdown of services conducted;
- Invoice(s) must show the breakdown of services conducted, i.e. pruning/wire/support removal (vineyards), pushing/piling, chipping/shredding, spreading, soil incorporation (ripping/discing), hauling (beneficial re-use), move-in fees, and any additional costs.
- Documentation of incurred costs by the participating grower, if additional costs are beyond those on the invoice for contracted services. Additional costs must be itemized and the payment date(s) identified, as applicable; and
- Proof of payment, which may include copies of checks, receipts or finance documents.
Once the completed claim for payment packet is received, San Joaquin Valley Air District staff will schedule a post-inspection onsite visit of the final disposition of agricultural material
Upon completion of the post-inspection, the San Joaquin Valley Air District will issue payment to the applicant, generally within 45 working days of the visit.
The full Program Guidelines is available here.
For more information on this program or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 530-893-4764.