New Funding for the Alternative Manure Management Program Available in Early 2022

Posted on Monday, December 13th, 2021 by Anna Larson
cows Tour of Hughes Dairy in 2017

Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) Funding Will Be Available in Early 2022

Dairy and livestock producers can once again apply for Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) funding with the application period opening in February next year.  The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) recently released draft program guidelines for the next round of AMMP projects. Public comments on those draft guidelines are due on December 21st. CalCAN will submit a letter.  

While much of the program remains the same as the last round of funding, there are some proposed changes including additions to the solid separation technologies eligible under the program, the inclusion of nutrient management technologies and more. 

CDFA has not detailed the level of funding that will be available for AMMP next year.  This year, CDFA received $32 million for its dairy methane programs: AMMP and dairy digesters. The legislature is requiring that CDFA give “priority” to AMMP when determining the split of funding between the two programs. However, what that means is still to be determined. CalCAN is calling on CDFA to allocate at least 50 percent of the $32 million to AMMP projects. 

Below we provide an overview of the most recent round of AMMP projects, funded in 2020. 

Farmer Demand for AMMP Funding Remains High

In 2020, dairy operator applications to AMMP were almost as high as the previous year, with 79 submitted applications. Of those, 13 applications were funded, totaling $8.93 million. CDFA did not fund the one submitted AMMP demonstration project proposal this year.

Compared to previous years, a smaller percent of applications were funded in 2020. However, as dairy methane funding declined significantly between 2019 and 2020, the percentage of dairy methane funds allocated to AMMP was similar to the previous year. Since AMMP was created, about two-thirds of dairy methane funds have gone to digesters. 

Overall, AMMP funds have not kept pace with increased producer demand for the program. See Table 1 for a breakdown of total dairy methane funds and the percent allocated to AMMP, as well as total program applications and percent of projects funded each year.

Table 1. Funds Allocated and Awarded, 2017-2020.

The majority of dairy methane funds continued to be allocated to dairy digester projects. CDFA funded 12 dairy digester projects in 2020 totaling $16.53 million, and did not fund any digester demonstration projects. 

San Joaquin Dairies Continue to Top List of AMMP Project Awards

All 13 of the funded AMMP projects were located in San Joaquin Valley counties. The primary practice utilized was solid separation for 7 out of the 13 projects, with 4 compost bedded pack barn projects and 2 flush-to-scrape projects. Both flush-to-scrape projects are composting their manure. In total, 8 of the funded projects are composting their manure, with the remaining projects using solar drying for their manure solids.  

San Joaquin Valley operations have received 102 out of the 120 project awards during the past four years of the program. See Table 2 for a breakdown of AMMP awards by county.  Of the 120 funded projects, 60% implemented solid separation as their primary practice, 26% implemented compost bedded pack barns as their primary practice, and 14% implemented flush-to-scrape. To date, no projects have utilized the pasture-based practices eligible under AMMP.  

Table 2. AMMP Project Awards by County, 2017-2020.

CalCAN will work with our dairy partners to submit public comments on the draft program guidelines, due Dec. 21. If you have comments on the program, please consider submitting comments to CDFA or getting in touch with Jeanne Merrill with CalCAN, CalCAN will continue to monitor the program and will provide updates on our blog as they are available. 

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