Healthy Soils Program Grant Information

What are Healthy Soils Incentive Grants?

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is offering Healthy Soils Incentives Grants through the Healthy Soils Program (HSP). HSP grants promote the development of healthy soils on California's farmlands and ranchlands, providing financial incentives through reimbursements paid directly to California growers and ranchers to implement conservation management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gasses, and improve soil health.

The application period is open from Jan 22nd - Feb 9th 2024.

Learn all about the HSP application process!

Our recorded webinars cover the basics of the program, how to apply, and much more information!

Want to get help or ask about applying for a grant?

Use our form to request technical assistance from CAFF's Ecological Farming Team, or look at CDFA's official list of technical assistance providers for HSP!

  • Must be 18 years or older to apply
  • Must be a California Farmer, rancher, agricultural business entity, or California Native American
  • Nonprofit organizations as agriculture operations are eligible to apply
  • Hemp cultivation operations are eligible to apply, while Cannabis cultivation operations are not eligible
  • Each application requires a unique Tax ID

There is no minimum amount, only a maximum amount. The maximum grant award is $100,000.00 per application with a unique tax ID.

Yes, but previous HSP Grant Recipients are not eligible to receive funds for implementing the same practice on the same field funded previously. However, a new landowner or lessee may be eligible to implement the same practice on the same field previously funded.

The grant term is three years. All activities must occur within the grant term. Costs incurred outside of the grant term will not be reimbursed.

Yes. The HSP Incentives application is open to all farms and ranchers. There is no acreage minimum or maximum.

CDFA pays HSP awardees through reimbursement. This means farmers and ranchers who receive a grant will have to pay for the practice materials (compost, cover crop seed, etc) upfront and will be reimbursed based on the payment rate after a practice has been implemented/verified. HSP awardees can request up to 25% advance payment for their project. An important determination of whether HSP is the right program for you is whether you are able to pay upfront for practice materials before being reimbursed by CDFA.

Landowners do not need to apply on behalf of the applicant. However, when leasing land, applicants must have documented landowner approval to implement the proposed practice(s) for the entire three years of the grant agreement term. Applicants are responsible for obtaining the consent of the lessor and ensuring that project implementation does not violate the lease agreement(s). CDFA will provide a Landowner Agreement Template for applicant use.

Visit the CDFA’s Healthy Soils Incentives Grants webpage to find a list of important documents to review, including:

Start preparing your project now by working with the RePlan Tool to map out your project, get an estimate of your project’s GHG reductions, and find out what your total grant award will be.

  • Scoring criteria for 2024 applications has been changed to “Pass/Fail”
  • CDFA will review and award projects in the following order of priority:
    • Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers; projects that benefit Priority Populations
    • First-time HSP applicants (applicants who have not been awarded in the past)
    • Projects including multiple HSP practices
    • All other applications

CAFF’s Ecological Farming Team is providing technical assistance for grant applications. The CDFA webpage also contains a list of Technical Assistance providers. Contact a local TA provider to get help with your application! To get in touch with an HSP Technical Assistance Provider at CAFF, email ecologicalfarming[at]caff.org or fill out our TA intake form.