Act Now: Farmers Have 6 Weeks to Apply for State’s Irrigation/Energy Efficiency Grants – Deadline March 14th

Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 by Brian Shobe

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) provides financial assistance for farmers and ranchers to implement irrigation systems that save water and reduce greenhouse gases on California agricultural operations. CDFA opened the grant application period today for its sixth round of SWEEP grants.

If you’re a farmer interested in making improvements to your irrigation system, here are some questions you might be asking:


What can I use this for?

Any combination of the following:

  • Weather, soil or plant based sensors for irrigation scheduling
  • Micro-irrigation or drip systems
  • Conversion of a diesel pumps to solar, wind, electric, or natural gas
  • Improved energy efficiency (e.g., retrofitting or replacing pumps)
  • Low pressure irrigation systems
  • Variable frequency drives to reduce energy use and match pump flow to load requirements.
  • Reduced pumping (e.g., improved irrigation scheduling)
  • Other management practices that save water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., soil management practices such as cover cropping and compost addition that increase water-holding capacity)

For examples of funded projects, click here.

How much financial support can I get?

Up to $100,000 per project

What if I don’t own my land?

That’s fine. You do not need to get approval from your landowner to apply.  However, it’s generally a good idea to communicate with them about your project and make sure you’re in compliance with your lease agreement.

When’s the deadline?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. PST

How do I apply?

Follow this Step-by-Step Application Guide.

How can I learn more and get help with my application?

You can start by checking out CDFA’s FAQ Sheet. You can also attend an informational webinar or workshop, listed below. CDFA will hold three workshops and one webinar to provide information on program requirements and the application process. CDFA staff will provide guidance on the application process, provide several examples and answer any questions. There is no cost to attend the workshops. Individuals planning to attend should email with their contact information, number of seats required and the workshop location.

Additional hands-on, application assistance workshops (where you will be able to work on your application with direct support) provided by non-profit organizations, California academic institutions and California Resource Conservation Districts will be posted soon on this website: We will also send out a notice about these application assistance workshops as soon as they are announced.  The SWEEP application is intensive. These workshops are intended to make the program application more accessible. We recommend reaching out to your local conservation, agricultural, and irrigation professionals for advice.

February 10, 2017 (Friday) from 9:00 am to 11:00 am

To register for the webinar, please send an email to requesting the registration link.

SWEEP Informational Application Workshops:   

Fresno County
Tuesday, February 7, 2017 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am
American Pistachio Growers
Conference Room
9 River Park Place East, Suite 410
Fresno, CA 93720

San Diego County
Wednesday, February 8, 2017 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am
San Diego County Farm Bureau
1670 E. Valley Parkway
Escondido, CA 92027

Tehama County
Thursday, February 9, 2017 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am
Department of Water Resources – Northern Region Office
2440 Main Street
Red Bluff, CA


Want more information on SWEEP? See CalCAN’s analysis of the program. Click here and here.

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