Proposals for New Conservation Practices for Healthy Soils Program Sought

Brian GermanConservation, Industry

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is inviting proposals for new conservation practices to be included in its Healthy Soils Program (HSP). As part of the California Healthy Soils Initiative, the HSP funds projects that improve soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce greenhouse gases. Since its start in 2016, the program has expanded to include various practices, such as Whole Orchard Recycling added in 2020.

conservation practices

“As the Healthy Soils Program continues to grow, new and innovative contributions from our stakeholders are critical to ensuring that farmers and ranchers have the diversity of practices they need to produce a wide range of nutritious, affordable and safe food crops, while increasing climate resilience,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in a press release. “Improving soil health in California must be a collaborative effort between CDFA, stakeholder groups, sister agencies and federal partners.”

To be eligible for HSP funding, conservation practices must reduce greenhouse gases and have established implementation standards. CDFA’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation will need to receive proposals by August 2. Proposals will be evaluated by academic and agency experts, with final selections coordinated with the California Air Resources Board and USDA-NRCS. Non-qualifying practices might receive research grants instead.

Details on proposal requirements and submission can be found on the HSP website. CDFA’s OEFI will be hosting webinars on June 13 and June 21, highlighting details of the HSP. Participants will be able to ask questions about the HSP process and requirements for proposals.

Listen to the report below.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West