Open Ag Burning to Phase Out 2025


By Mike Stephens with the Ag Information Network


New requirements have started to phase out open burning of agricultural materials. California Air Resources Board began the process a decade ago. In a unanimous decision, the Air Resources Board (CARB) last week approved a plan to phase out all open agricultural burning by 2025 in the San Joaquin Valley

Ryan Jacobsen, is the CEO of the Fresno County Farm Bureau, explained how the process started. “Ultimately in control is the California Air Resources Board. They were given that authority by the SB 700 from the early 2000s,” Jacobsen said.

“There’s been a lot of progress made over time. That’s one of the misnomers is that this recent announcement was that finally they were starting to address agricultural burning. That process started literally well over a decade ago. We’ve made tremendous strides, in reducing burning,” noted Jacobsen.

There have been some difficulties with certain commodities, such as grapevines. And then secondarily, there’s been difficulties in getting rid of our materials that chip material, because you when you take an orchard out, you have this chip material, which could go to biomass facilities located throughout the San Joaquin Valley that we could dispose of the bio mass.

“The biomass facilities began shutting down significantly over the course of the last five years,” Jacobsen said. “We were losing that ability to get rid of that. What was formerly a usable product was now a waste product that nobody wanted. So that’s the issue to why there was a hurdle in trying to get through some of this,” explained Jacobsen.