Dec 13, 2023
American Pistachio Growers awarded $5 million grant

American Pistachio Growers (APG) has been awarded a $5 million grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to help growers adopt healthy soils practices in the Golden State.  The grant is a part of the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration of state agencies and departments that promotes the development of healthy soils on California’s farmlands and ranchlands.

American Pistachio Growers

The grant to APG is among 14 grants funded through the CDFA Healthy Soils Block Grant Pilot Program, which awarded $62 million in soils block grants in 2023 to various organizations.  The program will fund projects for three years, with a limit of $200,000 per project over the lifetime of the grant. The objective is to better connect farmers and ranchers with programs that encourage and incentivize the implementation of management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases, and improve overall soil health.

“As the non-profit trade association for the pistachio industry, American Pistachio Growers is uniquely positioned to assist growers in implementing and managing various Healthy Soils Block Grant qualified projects,” Wes Wilson, director of member services and communications for APG. “We look forward to connecting growers with these valuable programs that will not only improve the overall health of our California soils, but have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon, all while increasing yields and reducing traditional inputs.”

The agreement with the CDFA Office of Environ mental Farming and Innovation (OEFI) was executed on Dec. 5, 2023, with grower applications opening Jan. 1, 2024.  APG anticipates funding more than 30 projects, with special consideration given to growers who qualify as Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers or have farms of 500 acres or less.

APG will conduct outreach and accept applications from growers in Kern, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, Madera and Merced counties. Under the program, qualifying practices include compost application, cover crop planting and management, mulching, hedgerow planting, nutrient management that results in a 15% or greater reduction in fertilizer application, residue and tillage management, and prescribed grazing.

“Our pistachio growers are true innovators and conservationists, and this grant will bring even greater awareness to the importance of healthy soils in our pistachio orchards,” added Wilson. “It’s a benefit not only for growers but also for all Californians.”

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