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Agricultural burn bans to take effect by the end of 2024

Ag Burn Bans take effect by 2024
Posted at 4:39 PM, Sep 12, 2022

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — By the end of 2024, agricultural burning in California will be a thing of the past. The practice is typically how farmers get rid of waste on their properties. Agricultural burning is how farmers dispose of materials produced from growing and harvesting crops.

According to the California Air Resources Board, agricultural burning includes the burning of grasses, weeds, orchards, and more. The burning takes place outside, and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District says it hurts our air quality.

“Years ago, what happened is that, that would be removed or dealt with by lighting it on fire,” said Jamie Hold, Chief Communications Officer for the Valley Air District. “We don’t really allow that to happen anymore, and come the end of 2024, it’s really not going to be allowed at all with some very few exceptions for diseased crops.”

Phase out plan for agricultural burning in the San Joaquin Valley 1
Phase out plan for agricultural burning in the San Joaquin Valley 2

Now that agricultural burning is being phased out, the California Air Resources Board and the Valley Air District were able to get nearly $180 million dollars added to the state budget for the purpose of supporting incentives for ending agricultural burning in the valley. The grant is to be spent over the next three years.

The governing board of the Valley Air District recommends all growers review the phase-out dates and consider alternatives to open burning as the prohibitions take effect. Due to unprecedented wildfires and stagnant winters with little precipitation, there may be significantly fewer opportunities to conduct burning.