Cover photo for Healthy Soils Program

Healthy Soils Program

California Department of Food and Ag

Closed February 9, 2024

The HSP Incentives Program provides financial incentives to California growers and ranchers to implement conservation management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), and improve soil health. GHGs benefits are estimated using quantification methodology and tools developed by California Air Resources Board (CARB), USDA-NRCS and CDFA and soil health improvement will be assessed by measuring soil organic matter content.


  • California farmers, ranchers and Federal and California Recognized Native American Indian Tribes are eligible to apply.

  • Projects must be located on a California agricultural operation. For the purpose of this program, an agricultural operation is defined as row, vineyard, field and tree crops, commercial nurseries, nursery stock production, and livestock and livestock product operations.

  • University and research farms, and city community gardens are not eligible for funding through the HSP Incentives Program. These entities may apply for the HSP Demonstration Projects.

  • Awards are limited to one per agricultural operation using a unique tax identification number per round of funding. Individuals or business entities receiving grant award funds must be located in California with a physical California business address.

  • All projects must implement at least one of the eligible agricultural management practices listed under Eligible Agricultural Management Practices, on fields where said practice was not implemented previously:

    • A previously implemented practice cannot be implemented on same field. A previously implemented practice is eligible for funding only if it is implemented on a new, different field within the same APN or a new APN.

    • Practices must be implemented on the same field(s) within the APN and cannot be moved to different field(s) within an APN during the term of the grant agreement.

    • Practices must be implemented on the same total acreage throughout the term of the grant agreement as proposed in the application and memorialized in the grant agreement. Decrease in acreage of practice implementation and quantified GHG reductions in the project after signature by Recipient and execution of grant agreement may result in elimination of that practice from the project and subsequent reduction of project budget. Additionally, project may be considered incomplete, and ten percent of total project budget may be withheld (see Project Verification).

  • Projects must result in net GHG benefits (i.e., net positive GHG reductions) from specific eligible agricultural management practices identified in this solicitation for the grant agreement term supported by document(s) of Carbon Sequestration and GHG Estimation Report(s) (See GHG Reduction Estimation).

  • Applicants must provide past three years’ baseline data on cropping and management histories directly related to fields identified by APNs where eligible agricultural management practices are proposed for implementation to be eligible for funding.

  • Applicants must lease, own, or otherwise control the fields and APNs where project activities are proposed to occur for the entirety of the project duration. If leasing land, applicants must ensure the proposed project does not violate their lease agreement and document approval by the landowner to implement proposed practices(s) from date of grant agreement execution to TBD.

  • If selected for funding, applicants must be able to execute a grant agreement within 30 days of receiving a notice of award.


  • HSP Incentives Program funds cannot be used to implement management practices that are not listed under Eligible Agricultural Management Practices in this grant solicitation. All requirements for practice implementation must be followed.

  • HSP Incentives Program funds cannot be used to fund fields with existing and ongoing implementation of any agricultural management practices listed under Eligible Agricultural Management Practices.

  • Fields that have previously received HSP Incentives or Demonstration awards for a particular practice are not eligible to receive additional funding for the same practice. New fields within a previously funded APN, or new practices to be implemented on previously funded fields are eligible.

  • Compost Application Practices and Whole Orchard Recycling may not be implemented on APNs where soil organic matter content is greater than 20 percent by dry weight in top 20 cm (or 8 inch) depth.

  • Practices may not be implemented on lands or crop types that are not suitable based on NRCS Conservation Practice Standards and NRCS California Practice Scenarios.

  • HSP Incentives program funds cannot be used for projects that use potted plants and plant growth media other than soil


  • The maximum grant award is $100,000.

  • The application submission period will be on a rolling basis, starting 2021 CDFA HSP Incentives Program Request for Grant Applications Page 4 of 52 November 1, 2021 and continuing until February 25, 2021 or until available funds are expended, whichever is earlier.

  • Grant funds cannot be expended before the grant agreement is executed or after the grant agreement term has ended.

  • Cost sharing (matching funds or in-kind contributions) during grant duration is not required but encouraged (See: Project Duration and Cost Sharing).

  • CDFA reserves the right to offer an award different than the amount requested.

Application Instructions

Application Process

The 2021 HSP Incentives Program is a web-based application process, accessible at

The grant application is a series of questions in one or more of the following formats: a drop-down menu; a check box; a text box with predetermined character limitations; or as a document attachment. Responses to all questions must be submitted in the manner and format required by the application questionnaire electronically without exception. Preview of application questions is available in the Preview of Application Questions.

Required Documents

  • CDFA HSP RePlan Report (mandatory; automatically uploaded to the application when completed in CDFA HSP RePlan Tool)

  • CDFA-HSP COMET-Planner Report (mandatory)

  • Landowner Agreement (if applicable).

  • Conservation Plan (if applicable).

  • A Grazing management plan for Prescribed Grazing Practice (if practice is included).


Release Date

January 9, 2024


February 9, 2024

Financial Instrument


Maximum Award Amount


Total Program Funding


Updated March 22, 2024

Image Credit: NRCS Oregon

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