CDFA Accepting Applications for State Water Efficiency & Enhancement Program & Health Soils Program

January 03, 2019

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced that they are accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) and the Healthy Soils Program (HSP) with applications for both programs due March 8, 2019. Applicants are eligible to receive up to $100,000 for SWEEP and up to $250,000 for HSP as detailed below.

State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP)

Program purpose: SWEEP provides financial assistance in the form of grants to implement irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gases and save water on California agricultural operations.

Eligible applicants for this program include: California farmers, ranchers and Federal and California Recognized Native American Indian Tribes. The irrigation project must be on a California agricultural operation.

Eligible system components for this program include (among others): soil moisture monitoring, drip systems, switching to low pressure irrigation systems, pump retrofits, variable frequency drives and installation of renewable energy to reduce on-farm water use and energy.

Funding levels: CDFA anticipates that up to $9.5 million will be awarded with a maximum grant award of $100,000 per project.

Cost sharing requirement: Matching funds are not required, but strongly encouraged.

Duration: The maximum project period is 18 months (September 1, 2019 – March 1, 2021) with awards expected to be announced during the summer of 2019.

The full SWEEP Request for Grant Applications can be found here.

Healthy Soils Program (HSP)

Program purpose: The HSP stems from the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration of state agencies and departments, to promote the development of healthy soils on California's farmlands and ranchlands.

The HSP has two components: the HSP Incentives Program and the HSP Demonstration Projects. The HSP Incentives Program provides financial assistance for implementation of conservation management that improve soil health, sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The HSP Demonstration Projects showcase California farmers and rancher's implementation of HSP practices. CDFA has appropriated $15 million to fund HSP.

HSP Incentives Program:

Eligible applicants for this program include: California farmers, ranchers and Federal and California Recognized Native American Indian Tribes. The irrigation project must be on a California agricultural operation.

Eligible soil management practices for this program include: cover crop, conservation crop rotation, mulching, nutrient management, residue and tillage management – no-till, residue and tillage management – reduced till, strip cropping, compost application to annual crops; compost application to perennials, orchards and vineyards; conservation cover, contour buffer strips, field border, filter strip, forage biomass planting, grassed waterway, herbaceous wind barrier, riparian herbaceous cover, vegetative barriers, alley cropping, hedgerow planning, multi-story cropping, riparian forest buffer, tree/shrub establishment, windbreak/shelterbelt establishment, compost application to grassland, prescribed grazing, range planting, silvopasture.

Funding levels: The maximum grant award is $75,000.

Cost sharing requirement: Cost sharing (matching funds or in-kind contributions) is not required, but may receive additional consideration.

Duration: The grant terms is from July 1, 2019 – March 31, 2022.

The full Request for Grant Applications for the HSP Incentives Program can be found here.

HSP Demonstration Projects: CDFA has identified two types of Demonstration Projects. The eligible project types are:

Type A: Projects are required to (a) implement the selected eligible agricultural management practice(s), (b) collect data on field measurements of GHG emissions, and (c) collect co-benefit data including benefits to soil health and environmental water and air quality data to address knowledge gaps regarding implementation of specific practices identified as “Practices for Demonstration and Data Collection”. In addition, the project must conduct outreach and education to other farmers and ranchers on the benefits of these practices to agricultural and environmental sustainability. The maximum grant award for a Type A project is $250,000.  

Type B: Projects are required to implement the selected eligible agricultural management practice(s) and conduct outreach to other farmers and ranchers at the on-farm demonstration sites on the benefits of these practices to agricultural and environmental sustainability. The maximum grant award for a Type B project is $100,000.

Eligible applicants for this program include: not-for-profit entities, University Cooperative Extensions, Federal and University Experiment Stations, Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs), Federal and California Recognized Native American Indian Tribes, and, farmers and ranchers in partnership with one of the aforementioned entities are eligible to apply. Individuals are not eligible to apply. A project must include at least one farm (privately or university/government owned) to fulfill demonstration requirements.

Eligible soil management practices for this program include: cover crop, conservation crop rotation, mulching, nutrient management, residue and tillage management – no-till, residue and tillage management – reduced till, strip cropping, compost application to annual crops; compost application to perennials, orchards and vineyards; conservation cover, contour buffer strips, field border, filter strip, forage biomass planting, grassed waterway, herbaceous wind barrier, riparian herbaceous cover, vegetative barriers, alley cropping, hedgerow planning, multi-story cropping, riparian forest buffer, tree/shrub establishment, windbreak/shelterbelt establishment, compost application to grassland, prescribed grazing, range planting, silvopasture.

Cost sharing requirement: Cost sharing (matching funds or in-kind contributions) during grant duration is not required but may receive additional consideration.

Duration: The grant terms is from July 1, 2019 – March 31, 2022.

The full Request for Grant Applications for the HSP Demonstration Projects can be found here.

For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at grants@morrisonco.net or call us at 530-893-4764. 

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