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How to apply to the Climate Smart Agriculture Program

The Climate Smart Agriculture Program is the combined application for the Ag Climate Resiliency & Efficiencies (ACRE) Program, the Ag Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP) and the Ag-Energy Program (ENER)
This program is not currently accepting applications.

Laura J. Maul

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Overview: 

The Climate Smart Agriculture Program (“CSAP”) combines MDAR’s separate water, energy, and climate grants into one application.  The three grant programs combined in this application are the Agricultural Climate Resiliency & Efficiencies (“ACRE”) Grant, the Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program Grant (“AEEP”) and the Traditional Ag-Energy Program Grant (“ENER”). By bringing the three grants under one program, MDAR is seeking to simplify the application process by allowing a single application process for these grants. 

Eligible Projects: 

This round of funding combines the applications for ACRE and AEEP into Section I: Environmental Projects. This section will provide financial incentives to allow agricultural operations to proactively address risks and strengthen their economic and environmental resiliency as they adapt to a changing climate. This is done by agricultural operations addressing vulnerabilities to expected impacts from climate change. These impacts will result from more frequent and severe storm events, increased precipitation followed by periods of drought, higher overall temperature and increased evaporation rates.  Section I: also provides incentives to agricultural operations for practices that help farmers mitigate their impacts on climate change. By providing financial incentives to Massachusetts growers for practices that that work towards improving soil health, ensuring the efficient use of water, preventing impacts on water quality, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and sequestering carbon, Massachusetts farms will work towards this objective of mitigating climate change. Proposals that address both adaptation and mitigation are prioritized for funding.

Applications for ENER, previously under the Traditional Agricultural Energy Grant Program, are in Section II: Energy Efficiency & Renewable Projects. Projects include energy efficiency projects and renewable energy projects that help farms become more sustainable and resilient while also working towards the interim goals of the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) for 2030. This is an interim plan as part of the overall Decarbonization Roadmap to ensure greenhouse gas reductions of at least 85% by 2050 while also achieving net zero emissions. This means renewable heating & cooling technologies are a priority and there is a preference for no longer funding fossil fuel (oil, propane, natural gas) fired equipment.

Project Examples: 

Part I: Environmental

Sector

Projects

Cranberry

  • Management systems to accommodate increased precipitation
  • Cranberry irrigation engine upgrades to lower emission propane pumps, or Tier 4 diesel pumps

Dairy & Livestock

  • Infrastructure changes to reduce heat stress – improve ventilation
  • Installation of fans for improved air-flow
  • Sprinklers or misters to improve evaporative cooling
  • Structures for pasture shading
  • Increase water availability for livestock

Crops

  • Diversification to perennial crops
  • Updated water management techniques (improve/add irrigation)
  • Install hoop houses, high tunnels for controlled environment
  • Install/enhance drainage systems

Maple Sugaring

  • High vacuum tubing
  • Check valve spout adapters

Other Technologies

  • Monitoring systems
  • Precision nutrient and pesticide application systems

Project Area

Description

Project Examples

 

Water Conservation

 

Conservation practices that work towards improving agricultural water-use efficiency, with further benefits of climate resiliency and response planning. 

  • Tailwater recovery
  • Automated irrigation systems/upgrades
  • Irrigation upgrades
  • Rainwater harvest systems
  • Sub-irrigation systems (ebb & flow, trough benches, drip irrigation)

 

Water Quality

Conservation management practices and systems that help prevent impacts on water quality by reducing runoff that may result from agricultural uses of the land.

  • Manure storage
  • Exclusion fencing & watering facilities
  • Stream crossings
  • Small scale composting for manure management (including equine)
  • Heavy use area
  • Fertilizer/pesticide storage
  • Chemical mixing & handling

 

Soil Health

 

Conservation practices to improve soil health that increase organic matter and improve microbial activity, sequester carbon, and increase water filtration.

 

  • Conservation tillage equipment
  • No-till grain drills
  • Roller crimpers
  • Precision ag equipment
  • Manure injectors
  • Fencing for rotational grazing
  • Silvopasture development

 

Part II: Energy Efficiency & Renewable

Sector

Priority Projects

Cranberry

  • Cranberry irrigation engine upgrades to new electric pumps

Dairy

  • Plate Cooler
  • Variable Speed Vacuum Pumps
  • Refrigeration Heat Recovery / Free-Heaters

Greenhouse & Nurseries

  • Thermal Blankets / Energy Screens
  • Envelope Insulation
  • Natural Ventilation
  • Root Zone Heating
  • Electronic Temperature Controls 

Maple Sugaring

  • High Efficiency Evaporators
  • Reverse Osmosis (RO) Systems
  • Heat Recovery & Steam Enhanced Units 

Other Technologies

  • Process Heat Recovery
  • High Efficiency Refrigeration (optimally with heat recovery)
  • Cold Storage Systems

Renewables

  • Photovoltaics (PV) with battery storage for new or existing PV
  • Integrated greenhouse solar PV glazing
  • Solar irrigation systems 
  • Renewable clean heating & cooling technologies
  • Wind Systems
  • Solar thermal technologies
  • High efficiency air source/ground source heat pumps/Geothermal
  • High efficiency advanced gasification wood biomass heating systems
  • Advanced biomass (gasification) Outdoor Wood Boilers (OWB)

Eligible Applicants:

  • Agricultural operations engaged in production agriculture for commercial purposes as defined in Massachusetts law M.G.L c. 128, Sec. 1A.
  • Applicant must own, or be a Co-Applicant with the owner of the agricultural operation, who has a legal interest in the land whether by deed or written agreement and approval to implement the project on the land, which must be in active agricultural use and managed as a commercial enterprise by the Applicant for at least the three (3) previous years.

Maximum Funding: 

  • PART I:  Climate Adaptation & Mitigation:  Maximum funding per applicant is 80% of total project costs up to $50,000.
  • PART II: Energy Efficiency & Renewable:  Maximum funding per applicant is 80% of total project costs up to $50,000.

How to apply How to apply to the Climate Smart Agriculture Program

This Program is not currently accepting applications. 

This Program is not currently accepting applications. 

This Program is not currently accepting applications. 

More info for How to apply to the Climate Smart Agriculture Program

This Program is not currently accepting applications. 

 

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