Feb 27, 2017
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has raised its rate of financial incentives to purchase low-dust harvest equipment to $37.50 per acre, up from last year’s rate of $10.52 per acre. As with the previous year, the NRCS is offering up to three years of financial incentives through its Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to almond and walnut growers who adopt harvest equipment shown to reduce particulate matter (dust).
The incentive payments apply whether growers purchase qualified equipment, rent the equipment or hire a custom operator who uses qualified equipment.
Eligible equipment is limited to specific harvesters proven through peer-reviewed demonstration trials at Texas A&M to reduce particulate matter by at least 30%. Trials were supported by a USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) and the San Joaquin Valley Air District, and build on years of Almond Board-funded research on reducing dust emissions at harvest. The Almond Hullers and Processors Association (now Almond Alliance) worked closely with NRCS to develop this funding opportunity.
Growers may receive $37.50 per acre for up to three years for use of qualified harvesters. Check with your equipment dealer for information on specific models of harvesters currently covered by the program. More information about the program is available at local NRCS offices.
Growers can find their nearest NRCS office by visiting the Almond Board’s Industry Resource Directory and filtering for the category “NRCS.”
Applications for the EQIP California Air Quality Initiative program are accepted year-round through local NRCS offices and are approved according to five yearly funding cycles. However, growers interested in this opportunity with an eye toward this year’s harvest should contact their local NRCS office as soon as possible.