What is the Healthy Soils Program?
The Healthy Soils Program (HSP) provides financial assistance in the form of grants to agricultural operations that implement or demonstrate practices that improve soil health and increase soil organic matter. The Program has two distinct components: the Incentives Program and Demonstration Projects.
HSP Incentives Program
The HSP Incentives Program offers grants to California agricultural producers to implement management practices that improve soil health and sequester carbon. Carbon sequestration estimates are measured using greenhouse gas quantification methodology and tools developed by California Air Resources Board, USDA-NRCS, and CDFA. Soil health is assessed by testing soil organic matter before and after conservation practices are implemented.
HSP Demonstration Projects
HSP Demonstration Projects seek to improve soil health and sequester carbon by funding on-farm demonstration projects that collect data and/or showcase conservation management practices in action. Demonstration projects fall into one of two categories:
Type A projects will demonstrate implementation of conservation management practices, measure field GHGs emissions, and conduct analysis on cost/benefits for adoption of the proposed practice(s) and anticipated barriers.
Type B projects will demonstrate implementation of HSP conservation management practices and/or conduct analysis on cost/benefits for adoption of the proposed practice(s) and anticipated barriers.
What types of practices are eligible?
Eligible practices differ for the Incentives and Demonstration Projects. There are many practices eligible for funding under the Incentives Program including, but not limited to, cover cropping, compost application, prescribed grazing, alley cropping, and hedgerow planting. Practices eligible for Demonstration Projects include, mycorrhizal application, anaerobic digestate application, and biochar application.
Need help applying?
Mendocino County RCD is a Technical Assistance Provider for CDFA Healthy Soils Incentives Program. They can provide help with project design, navigating the application process, and answering any questions.
For more information contact:
Seth Myrick | Seth.Myrick@mcrcd.org | (707) 462-3664 ext. 110
Katie Smith | Katie.Smith@mcrcd.org | (707) 462-3664 ext. 100
Linda MacElwee | Linda.MacElwee@mcrcd.org | (707) 895-3230
- Access slides from MCRCD’s Healthy Soils Incentives Program Informational Webinar hosted on November 17, 2021.
- Watch this CDFA webinar or view the slideshow outlining how to apply to the HSP Incentives Program.
- Access the RePlan Tool, the Comet-Planner Tool, and the Workplan/Budget Worksheet needed in all applications.
- Learn more about CDFA’s soil sampling protocol to measure soil organic matter (SOM) on your operation and find soil sampling laboratories.
- Read the Compost Application White Paper and the Whole Orchard Recycling White Paper.