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Conservation Tillage Residue Management (Code 329 and 345)

Conservation Tillage

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering conservation assistance by encouraging California growers to implement new and innovative agricultural emission reduction practices and technologies that provide significant environmental benefits to our natural resources.

Managing the amount, orientation and distribution of crop and other plant residue on the soil surface year round, limiting soil-disturbing activities to those necessary to place nutrients, condition residue and plant crops will provide Particulate Matter emission reductions.

Conservation tillage has the added benefit of reducing the number of vehicle trips over that of conventional tillage operations, resulting in less fuel consumption and reduced emissions from combustion equipment.

This practice incentivizes the adoption of technology used in conservation residue and tillage management practices.

Funding priorities are based on a screening and ranking process that considers the benefits of planned conservation practices, as identified by local, state and national priorities within nationally designated air quality non-attainment areas in California.

Program Guidelines

  • 329 - Residue and Tillage Management, No-Till /Strip-Till/Direct Seed
  • 345 - Residue and Tillage Management, Mulch Till

The minimum contract length is four years.

  • Payments will occur on the first and third years of the contract. No payments are made on the second and fourth year of the contract.

    Program Specifics

    California growers must meet EQIP eligibility requirements to qualify for payments.

  • All annually tilled row crops are eligible.
  • Reduce or modify tillage operations that generate dust by adopting tillage practices that reduce vehicle trips across the field and utilize tillage equipment proven to reduce particulate emissions.
  • Residues are to be uniformly distributed over the entire field. No residue is burned. Unless otherwise stipulated, the Soil Tillage Intensity Rating (STIR) value shall not exceed the following:
    • 20 for No-Till / Strip-Till / Direct Seed
    • 80 for Mulch Till   

For More Information

For more information about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), please contact your local USDA Service Center, listed in the government section of the phone book under U.S. Department of Agriculture. Information is also available on the Internet at