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Agricultural Irrigation Engines (Code 372)

Stationary Irrigation Engine

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering California growers and ranchers opportunities to apply new and innovative agricultural emission reduction practices and technologies that provide significant environmental benefits to our natural resources.

The Combustion System Improvement practice improves air quality by reducing oxides of nitrogen (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOC), and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) emissions from reciprocating internal combustion engines and related components.  Real emission reductions are achieved when higher-polluting agricultural irrigation engines are retired earlier than through normal turnover and repowered with new electric motors or new Tier 4 emissions-certified nonroad diesel engines.  Priority is placed on repowers to new electric motors, which essentially eliminates air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions at the source.  

Program Guidelines: 372 - Combustion System Improvement

EQIP Program Specifics

California growers and ranchers must meet eligibility requirements to qualify.

There are two typical conservation treatments for improving emissions from in-use agricultural irrigation pumping plants:

  1. Repower a stationary in-use agricultural irrigation engine with a new electric motor.
  • The in-use engine is rated at 50 brake-horsepower (bhp) or greater and is either a spark-ignition or compression-ignition engine.
  • An in-use compression-ignition engine must meet Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 emissions certification.  Uncontrolled (Tier 0) diesel engines are not eligible.
  • The new electric motor is rated at 25 horsepower or greater not to exceed 125 percent of the in-use engine baseline horsepower rating, and covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
  1. Repower a stationary or portable in-use nonroad diesel-powered irrigation engine with a new nonroad diesel engine.
  • The in-use nonroad diesel engine is rated at 50 bhp or greater and meets Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 emissions certification.  Uncontrolled (Tier 0) diesel engines are not eligible.
  • The new nonroad diesel engine is rated at 50 bhp or greater not to exceed 125 percent of the in-use diesel engine baseline horsepower rating, meets current model-year Tier 4 emissions certification, and is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

The In-Use engine must be:

  • Fully functional, in good operating condition, connected to the equipment and components it powers, and has useful life remaining.
  • Used routinely and exclusively in California by the participant for at least the past 24 consecutive months.

A stationary engine is mounted on a foundation or a platform on a foundation and powers a pumping plant at a permanent location.  A portable engine is mounted on a trailer or skid that is intended to operate at multiple locations over short durations.

Not eligible are auxiliary engines mounted on farm equipment, emergency stand-by engines, or mobile engines that self-propel agricultural equipment.

New electric motors and diesel engines must be sized appropriately to conform to CPS 533-Pumping Plants criteria and specifications, as necessary.

Federal, state, regional and/or local air quality authorities have adopted regulations, including permitting or registration requirements, that apply to in-use and new agricultural irrigation engines.  Applicants are therefore advised to consult with the appropriate air quality authority prior to submitting an EQIP application in order to address the regulatory requirements that may apply towards the installation of new and the operation of in-use and new agricultural irrigation engines.

The participant must not purchase, make payments toward, or take possession of any new electric motor or nonroad diesel engine prior to receiving a fully executed contract.

  • The participant installing a new electric motor must provide documentation from the local utility company confirming that an adequate electric power supply is at the site.
  • The participant installing a new diesel engine must provide the appropriate NRCS field office with the applicable EPA Engine Family Name, engine model number or code descriptions, and engine serial number prior to purchasing the new engine for emissions verification and NRCS concurrence.
  • To assure the emission reductions are real and permanent, the old engine must be destroyed and scrapped at a California scrap metal recycling facility. 
  • Recycling engine parts and associated components is not allowed.
  • The participant must provide the NRCS field office with the appropriate documents and photographs of engine destruction.  NRCS field office representatives may observe the destruction of the old in-use engine and equipment.
  • Please consult with your NRCS field office representative on where engines may be properly disposed and scrapped.
  • Projects must conform to the Combustion System Improvement Specifications.
  • A minimum two-year contract period is required. The participant initiates the project within one year. The practice lifespan is 10 years.
  • Participants must adhere to the Combustion System Improvement Operation and Maintenance requirements over the 10-year practice life.

Nonroad Diesel Engine Certification Information is available on-line:

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: 12/17/2018