The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced Sunday that it has distributed $2.97 million in grant requests to 20 Healthy Soils Program Demonstration Projects.

The Healthy Soils Program—a collaboration of state agencies to promote the development of healthy soils on California’s agricultural lands—works to fund “on-farm demonstration projects that collect data, showcase conservation management practices that mitigate GHG emissions and increase soil health and promote widespread adoption of conservation management practices throughout the state.”

Of the 20 funding recipients, the University of California Davis Department of Land, Air and Water Resources received the most, drawing in $249,999.  The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Cal Poly Corporation followed with $249,996.95 and 249,407, respectively. The Regents of the University of California received $249,055.91.

Funding for the project comes from California Climate Investments, a state initiative that uses Cap-and-Trade dollars to find ways to lower environmental impacts, improve public health and strengthen the economy.

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“Soil health is key to agricultural productivity and food security, and capturing atmospheric carbon and storing it in the soil is an opportunity for long-term carbon storage in addition to reducing GHG emissions,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in a release. “These demonstration projects help get the word out to the farming community that these practices do work. These science-based projects will help improve the quantification benefits of carbon sequestration on the land.”

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