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Chipping of Orchard or Vineyard Removal (Code 384)

Chipping Equipment

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

Chipping vegetative debris from orchard or vineyard removals is an open burn alternative that reduces smoke emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOC), and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), odors, and other gases.  Chipping also avoids smoke nuisances to downwind and sensitive receptors.  Reincorporating the chipped woody debris into the soil may promote carbon sequestration and improve soil health.   Applying the chips to the land or onto unpaved road surfaces may help reduce visible dust emissions.  Moving the chips off-site to a biomass-fueled power plant provides a renewable energy fuel that benefits greenhouse gases and controls NOx, VOC and PM emissions.  It is recommended that diesel-powered equipment are powered by the highest Tier-level emissions-certified diesel engines available to minimize NOx, VOC and PM emissions from diesel exhaust.

This practice provides a payment for chipping the woody debris from orchard or vineyard removals. 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.

Practice Standard 384 – Woody Residue Treatment

Program Specifics

California growers must meet EQIP eligibility requirements to qualify.

  • Orchards or vineyards removals for agricultural purposes are eligible.
  • Attrition or pruning materials, pushed orchards or vineyards that have removed wood for firewood purposes, or land-use conversion from agricultural to non-agricultural use are ineligible.
  • All chemically-treated wood must be removed from the site prior to chipping.
  • A minimum two-year contract period is required with one single payment. The participant must initiate the project within one year.

Wood chip usages:

  • Chips may be composted.
  • Chips may be incorporated into or spread on the field.
  • Chips may be applied on unpaved road surfaces for controlling visible dust emissions.
  • Chips may be hauled to and utilized by a biomass-fueled power plant or co-generation facility as renewable fuel.

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


Updated: 05/08/17