Almond Alliance of California – The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (Air District) is accepting applications for the Alternative to Agricultural Open Burning Incentive Pilot Program. This program provides incentives to commercial agricultural operations located within Air District boundaries to chip or shred agricultural material from orchard and vineyard removals and use for soil incorporation or land application on agricultural land as an alternative to the open burning of the agricultural materials.
The Almond Alliance and Almond Board of California continue to encourage almond growers to utilize this program, especially given the recent Air Resources Board (CARB) approved plan to phase out all open agricultural burning by 2025 in the San Joaquin Valley.
Applicants must have not chipped, nor can begin chipping, any of the acres and/or orchard to be removed at the location referenced in their application until they have an executed voucher.
Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis while funds are available. The review and approval process consists of an application review and site inspection. A voucher is executed and sent to the applicant upon determination of an eligible and complete application and inspection. The approval process typically takes 7-10 business days.
Land conversions intended for non-agricultural purposes are not eligible for funding.
To be eligible, farmers have to use the material for soil incorporation or land application as an alternative to the burning of the material. Eligible crop types include orchard and vineyard removals. Applicants who will be chipping the material with soil incorporation may receive up to $600 per acre, for a maximum of $60,000 per year. Farmers who wish to chip without soil incorporation are eligible for up to $300 per acre with a $30,000 maximum per year.
Almond Alliance Chairman Mike Curry of Johnson Farms indicated that it was easy to apply stating “It’s very simple paperwork. It’s pretty straightforward.” Adding that growers who have applied for Air District funding to assist with the purchase of low-dust harvesting equipment or to replace diesel pumps will find the application process similar.
For Program Guidelines, Click Here.