The California Air Resources Board has directed a phase-out of agricultural burning in the San Joaquin Valley. To assist farmers in achieving this goal, the Valley Air District’s Alternative to Open Agricultural Burning Incentive Program provides up to $600 per acre for a maximum of $60,000 per year to chip or shred agricultural material and apply it back onto the land or into the soil. This month, the SJVAPCD Governing Board unanimously approved an additional $3 million for this important incentive program. Guidelines and applications are available at http://valleyair.org/grants/alt-ag-burning.htm.
As burning is phased out, the State must follow through with their commitment to substantially increase funding for alternative technologies, incentives for growers, and bioenergy projects. CCM is working collaboratively with other commodity associations to advocate for this important funding in the 2021-22 budget.