A recent event in the San Joaquin Valley highlighted the successes of equipment replacement incentives in helping to lower agricultural-related air quality emissions. Representatives from key environmental agencies celebrated the significant victory through a joint proclamation. Collaborative efforts from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, the California Air Resources Board, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) were central to the achievement. Through strategic partnerships and grant programs, the proclamation stated the ag sector met its commitment to replacing equipment “and achieved over 11 tons per day of NOx emission reductions in 2024.”
The San Joaquin Valley has a history of successful collaboration among agricultural stakeholders, agencies, and legislators. Significant investments, exceeding $1.6 billion since 2015, accelerated the turnover of older agricultural equipment through federal programs like the Diesel Emission Reduction Act and state initiatives like Funding Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emission Reductions (FARMER) Program.
On hand for the event was the President/CEO of the Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA), Roger Isom. WAPA has been a major proponent of equipment replacement incentives, citing the critical nature of initiatives like the FARMER Program. “The Association spent a lot of time, effort and political capital over the past several years to make sure this day happened, and to stave off any type of mandatory replacement rule like the CARB Truck Rule that would have ultimately put farmers out of business,” Isom noted.
The agricultural industry has retired or dismantled more than 12,800 pieces of older agricultural equipment, including 7,300 of the oldest Tier 0 equipment lacking emissions controls. NRCS California State Conservationist Carlos Suarez expressed pride in participating in the effort to address air quality concerns in the San Joaquin Valley. More than 6,000 outdated tractors have been replaced since 2008 through NRCS-supported initiatives. “But we didn’t do this alone – a robust partnership of agriculture and governmental partners have teamed with us for more than a decade working together to make our air cleaner and healthier for Central Valley communities,” Suarez explained.
Ag News Director / AgNet West