California vineyards, orchards awarded $66 million in healthy soil grants
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded $66 million in grants from its Healthy Soils Program to a total of 940 projects.
The projects aim to improve soil health, sequester carbon and reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases.
The selected projects will have an estimated impact across more than 82,000 acres of California farm and ranch land and will provide an annual projected greenhouse gas emissions reduction of more than 250,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MT CO2e), which is like removing nearly 54,000 vehicles from the road.
The full list of winners and the details of their awarded projects can be found at www.cdfa.ca.gov.
The Healthy Soils Program incentivizes a total of 27 practices which, in addition to carbon sequestration and GHG emissions reductions, provide co-benefits such as improving water retention and water quality, a critical feature during the current drought.
This latest round of grants brings the total for Healthy Soils projects to more than $107 million since the program began in 2017, funding projects that represent 136,254 acres of agricultural land, and greenhouse gas reductions of 367,717 MT CO2e.
The Healthy Soils Program was established as a part of the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration between state agencies to support the development of healthy soils in California. The HSP has two components: the HSP Incentives Program and the HSP Demonstration Projects.
HSP Demonstration Project awards were made in April 2022, when CDFA selected seven projects requesting $1.1 million. This program funds on-farm demonstration projects that collect data and/or showcase conservation management practices that mitigate GHG emissions and increase soil health.