Manure Manager

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California farmers and ranchers SWEEP CDFA grant program


March 17, 2020
By Manure Manager

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From throughout the state, 125 agricultural operations have been selected by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to receive funding, totalling $9.7 million, to improve crop irrigation systems that result in water savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The 2019 State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) grant awards list of selected projects is available online. SWEEP is a competitive grant program initiated in 2014 in response to California’s historic five-year drought. The program offers funding to improve water and energy efficiencies on farms and ranches, increasing agriculture’s resiliency to drought and climate change impacts.

“Water remains a top concern for Californians, and we are proud to continue investing in water use efficiency in agriculture,” said CDFA secretary Karen Ross in a press release. “Farmers involved in this program are making positive on-farm changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, grow food with more efficient watering systems and help address our changing climate.”

There were 366 agricultural operations that applied for SWEEP funding in 2019. The selected projects are estimated to save 74,900 acre-feet of water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent over 10 years, the equivalent of removing more than 7,000 vehicles from our roads. Additionally, the awardees will contribute $4.9 million in matching funds, furthering the positive impacts of the program.

SWEEP is one of many CDFA programs that supports the Governor’s California for All initiative through prioritizing funding for Severely Disadvantaged Communities (SDACs) and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (SDFRs).

The majority of SWEEP awards were made to farmers living in SDACs and also to SDFR applicants. “We are very pleased to meet and exceed our 20 percent funding requirement of grants to benefit SDACs,” Ross said. “We are also very happy to announce that all projects submitted by SDFRs that attained a minimum review score were funded.”

2019 SWEEP funding is provided by Proposition 68 (SB 5), the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018 [Sec 3. Division 45, Chapter 11.6. Section 80147 (b) of the Public Resources Code].

SWEEP is part of CDFA’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI) Climate Smart Agriculture portfolio.