Farmers and ranchers in California may participate in a series of workshops in the coming weeks to learn about a cost-sharing program to help reduce air quality emissions from agricultural equipment and other agriculture sources.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), the series of 15 workshops begins Wednesday, May 27th in Fresno and conclude Tuesday, June 16th in Stockton, the agency said.
The cost-share program is administered by the NRCS as part of a new air quality provision of the 2008 Federal Farm Bill, provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Under the program, agricultural producers can apply for cost-share funds to replace, repower, or retrofit existing combustion engines on tractors and other mobile or stationary equipment. The deadline to apply is June 26th.
Producers in 36 counties are eligible to use the funds to help reduce ozone and particulate matter emissions, NRCS said.
The program will prioritize replacing older, higher-polluting engines with newer, reduced-emission technology engines that meet or exceed current emission standards.
Representatives from the NRCS and Farm Services Agencies, regional Air Districts, agricultural associations and farm equipment dealers will be at each workshop to answer questions and to help producers determine if they are eligible for the program.