Air District Accepts and Appropriates $118 Million for FARMER Funding

Today, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Governing Board accepted and appropriated $118 million in new FARMER funding to help replace older diesel tractors and harvesters with new Tier 4 equipment.  This is the 5th year for the FARMER program, and in the first four years, the District had allocated more than $432 million to replace ag equipment.  This year’s money is a significant shot in the arm and comes just in time as the Air District’s queue of applications increased from 2,061 to 3,305 just since April!  Association President/CEO Roger Isom attended the Governing Board Meeting and testified in support of the allocation.  In doing so, Isom thanked the District staff and the Board for their support in this funding and emphasized the need for this funding to help agriculture be a part of the solution to the Valley’s air quality problems.  Isom stated “Agriculture can’t pass along the cost of new equipment like other industries, and this is exacerbated by the drought and incredibly high input costs.  The incentive programs, like FARMER have been hugely successful and we must continue them.”  In allocating the $118 million, the District will also hire additional staff to help address this growing backlog of applications.