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 maximum incentive amounts of $60,000 per applicant per year. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis while funds are still available.

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 soil incorporation or land application on agricultural land as an alternative to the open burning of agricultural materials. 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 two projects types:

  • Chipping with soil incorporation: Projects that engage in soil incorporation (whole orchard recycling) are eligible for a maximum incentive of $600 per acre with a maximum of $60,000 per applicant per year.
  • Chipping without soil incorporation: Projects that use chipped agricultural material for land application of mulch are eligible for $300 per acre and $30,000 per applicant per year.

The total maximum incentive amount per applicant will not exceed $60,000 per year.

What are the program requirements? The program requirements are as follows:

  • 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.
  • Chipped material is not to be sold, given, or donated to biomass facilities, composting, CalTrans or for other non-agricultural off-site uses.
  • Soil incorporation or land application must take place on grower (applicant) property or other agricultural property.
  • 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, begin chopping crops or begin any work on this project before 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 (available here);
  • IRS Form W-9 (included in the link above);
  • Itemized quote from service provider(s) for the planned activities. This may include pushing/piling of orchard/vineyard, chipping, spreading, ripping, discing, pruning/wire/support removal, move-in fees, etc.; and
  • Confirmation of crop/acreage through the form of a site map, google map or assessor’s map.

Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis while funds are available.

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 180 days 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;
  • 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 or call us at 530-893-4764.


We’ve worked with a wide variety of clients on a broad range of projects and are happy to discuss solutions that can best fit your needs.

Get in Touch