California’s Cap and Trade Program has been in the news a lot lately as elected officials consider its future. To further that discussion, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) provides the following summary of activities that are supported by the California Climate Investment Program with funds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund:
In 2016-17, the Department was awarded $7.5 million in Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to implement irrigation systems that reduce GHGs and save water on California agricultural operations. Now in its fourth year, this program has funded a total of 577 projects totaling $57.5 million. As of July 3rd CDFA has announced this year’s 58 award recipients and look forward to projects breaking ground soon.
2017 will mark the first year of incentives available for the Healthy Soils Program. The goal is to build soil carbon and reduce agricultural GHG emissions. This will include funding to support specific management practices and demonstration projects. In 2016-17, the Department was awarded $7.5 million and anticipates a formal Request for Grant Applications to be released by the end of this month. The Department has also partnered with the Strategic Growth Council to offer funding to non-profit organizations, California’s Resource Conservation Districts and California academic institutions to provide technical assistance to potential applicants applying for the Healthy Soils Program. Applications are accepted until the July 20th deadline.
The Department’s Dairy Digester Research and Development Program provides financial assistance for the installation of dairy digesters in California, which will result in reduced GHG emissions. In 2016-17, the Department received $50 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (AB 1613 Section 13. Item 8570-101-3228) for methane emissions reductions from dairy and livestock operations. This will be the second round of incentives for dairy digester installations or retrofits (the Department awarded $12 million for 6 projects in 2015). The Department plans to allocate $29-36 million from the total $50 million appropriation as incentives to support digester projects on California dairy operations. With the June 28th closure of the deadline for grant applications, the Department has received 36 applications totaling $75.7 million. The Department anticipates announcing awards after technical review in September of this year.
Milk and dairy products are important protein and nutrient food sources for human health. California leads the nation in milk production and California dairies are some of the most efficient and innovative in the world. One tradeoff is the production of methane, a GHG and a short-lived climate pollutant, from livestock manure. Management practices exist for reducing methane emissions from animal manure through non-digester methodologies.. The Alternative Manure Management Program is currently being developed and implemented by the Department to support non-digester dairy methane reduction practices. In 2016-17, the Department received $50 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (AB 1613 Section 13. Item 8570-101-3228) for methane emissions reductions from dairy and livestock operations The Department will allocate $9-16 million from the total $50 million appropriation as incentives to support project development to support the AMMP objective. The Department’s application is currently available for public comment and a final request for applications is expected to be released in August.
To learn more about the Department’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation, which houses these programs, please visit https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/; and to learn more about California’s Climate Strategy, visit http://www.climatechange.ca.gov/.