CDFA Healthy Soils Incentives Program, Application Assistance

Update: As of November 1, 2021, the CDFA Healthy Soils Incentives Program IS OPEN. There is $75 million in available funding for the 2021 round. Marin RCD is providing free application assistance to the first 10 Marin County producers who contact us. Call 415-787-7440 or email if you are interested. Applications will be awarded on a first come-first-serve basis so best to get your application in ASAP.

Sign up for email notifications about the program here.

Hello and welcome to our CDFA Healthy Soils Incentives Program assistance webpage!

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA’s) Healthy Soils 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. Marin RCD has created this webpage to help local producers apply to the program. Our Design and Implementation Page, linked here, may also be of use in planning for, or completing, your application. If you engage in this funding opportunity and are awarded, you will be in contract with the USDA California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Marin RCD is here to provide application and implementation assistance along the way, but we are not the grantor. Thank you for joining other local land stewards in working to improve the health of our soils!

You can sign up for email updates and review program details at CDFA’s Healthy Soils Incentives Program Website. Keep an eye on CDFA’s webpage for updates throughout the grant cycle. The website will contain application instructions and resources such as Frequently Asked Questions. On the website, you can also review archived documents from previous funding rounds to get a sense of the program.

The video below explains how to apply to the program:


Post Award: How to Sample Soils

The CDFA Healthy Soils Incentives Program requires recipients to submit annual soil sample results. You can take these samples easily on your own and send to a soil lab for analysis. Soil organic matter content test results are required (1) prior to practice implementation, (2) one year after practice was implemented for the first time, (3) two years after practice was implemented for the first time, and (4) three years after the practice was implemented for the first time. If your later soil samples fall outside of the grant term, CDFA cannot mandate grantees to take and report the samples, but strongly encourages grantees to.

Find the CDFA Soil Sampling Protocols by clicking on this link.

The below video, featuring Miguel Garcia of Napa RCD, shows how to sample soils in vineyards. You can adjust this to a rangeland or vegetable cropland setting. Different than Miguel shows, CDFA protcols require digging to a 8″ depth.

We tend to send our soil samples to A&L Laboratories* in Modesto. Find fee information and a submission form on their website. A&L’s S1B Soil Test Package covers CDFA’s Healthy Soils requirements.

*This is not meant to be an endorsement. If another soil lab should be added to our list of reccomendations, please let us know by contacting


Contact Marin RCD for financial or technical assistance

Necessary tools for CDFA Healthy Soils Initiative Program application:

Asistencia técnica en español:
¿Tiene un interés en financiación del Programa de Tierras Saludables de CDFA? El Marin RCD puede proveer ayuda limitada a completar todos los pasos de su solicitud, asistencia técnica y la creación de mapas para los solicitantes hispanohablantes. Envie un correo:

Tara Krantz,