Types of Rebates

Comprehensive Crop Upgrades

Enhance your farm’s sustainability and resilience with a Comprehensive Crop Upgrade. By participating in the Regional CropSWAP Program, you can now convert to water-efficient crop varieties, upgrade your avocado rootstocks for improved tree health, or rejuvenate your avocado trees through stumping. By completing a comprehensive crop upgrade, you’ll not only optimize your water use and boost your crops’ productivity but also contribute to the collective goal of responsible water stewardship. Invest in your farm’s future today and join us in creating a more sustainable agricultural community.

Project Requirements:
• Each project type requires a minimum of one acre and crop replacement, conversion, or stumping within the Project Area for financial assistance eligibility.

• Participants can combine comprehensive crop upgrade project types (e.g., crop conversion and rootstock upgrade).

• The existing crop must be present, and the irrigation system must be operational to qualify for the program.

• Participants are limited to one application per calendar year.

• Crops must be replaced block by block; individual tree/vine replacement isn’t covered.

• Eligible customers must complete an application and agree to the program’s terms and conditions.

• Projects must be completed within 240 days from the contract execution.

• Pre- and post-inspections are required to confirm project details and completion.

• Incentive disbursement occurs after project verification and submission of required documentation, with incentive amounts not exceeding actual project costs.

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Irrigation Efficiency Upgrades

Optimize your irrigation system with an Irrigation Efficiency Upgrade. By participating in the Regional CropSWAP Program, you can now improve water distribution uniformity by upgrading your irrigation equipment, such as pipes, sprinklers, pressure regulators, and drip systems. Implement soil moisture sensors to make data-driven decisions for optimal irrigation scheduling. Take advantage of remote monitoring and valve control equipment to automate your irrigation, saving time and resources. By participating in this program, you’ll maximize your irrigation efficiency, reduce water waste, and contribute to the sustainable management of our precious water resources. Invest in your farm’s irrigation infrastructure today and join us in promoting water conservation in agriculture.

Project Requirements:
Uniformity Improvements- Irrigation Equipment Upgrades

• Enhance water efficiency on one or more irrigated acres through equipment upgrades.

• Participants are limited to one application per calendar year.

• A complimentary inspection is conducted before upgrades to assess the irrigation system’s efficiency.

• Eligibility for financial incentives is restricted to the specific irrigation equipment items recommended by the inspector, and equipment outside of these recommendations will not be eligible for reimbursement.

• Eligible customers must complete an application and agree to the program’s terms and conditions.

• Projects must be completed within 90 days following the delivery of the recommendations and notice to proceed.

• Incentive disbursement will occur upon project completion, verification of irrigation upgrades, and the participant’s submission of documentation confirming payment for the expenses incurred during the project.

• Incentive amounts provided will not exceed the verified actual costs incurred for the project.

Soil Moisture Sensors

• Growers must have one or more acres of agriculture under irrigation.

• Participants are limited to one application per calendar year.

• Eligible participants must complete an application and receive a notice to proceed prior to the start of the project.

• Equipment must meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards to be eligible.

• Projects must be completed within 90 days following the notice to proceed.

• Incentive disbursement will occur after the participant submits a receipt and a photo confirming the installation of the equipment.

• Incentive amounts provided will not exceed the verified actual costs incurred for the project and will not exceed 50% of the project cost.

*Please note that participants of Comprehensive Crop Upgrades are not eligible for Uniformity Improvements, as the incentive is meant to cover the cost of planting and upgrading the irrigation system.

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Other BMPs (Best Management Practices)

Adopt sustainable agricultural practices and optimize your farm’s performance. By participating in the Regional CropSWAP Program, you can now install direct fertigation systems for precise nutrient delivery, increasing your crop yield potential while minimizing nutrient waste. Implement mulching to improve soil moisture retention and reduce evaporation, creating a more favorable growing environment for your crops. Plant cover crops to protect and enhance your soil health, promoting long-term sustainability and productivity. By participating in this program, you’ll not only optimize your farm’s resource use but also contribute to the broader goal of sustainable agriculture. Invest in your farm’s future today and join us in promoting best management practices that benefit both your crops and the environment.

Project Requirements:
Nutrient Management, Mulching, and Cover Crops

• Growers must have one or more acres of agriculture under irrigation.

• Participants are limited to one application per calendar year.

• Eligible participants must complete an application and receive a notice to proceed prior to the start of the project.

• Projects must be completed within 90 days following the notice to proceed.

• Equipment must meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards to be eligible.

• Ensure a minimum depth of 4 inches for mulching projects.

• Incentive disbursement will occur after the participant submits a receipt and a photo confirming the installation or application of the equipment/materials.

• Incentive amounts provided will not exceed the verified actual costs incurred for the project, with a maximum of 50% of the project cost.

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General requirements

To participate in the CropSWAP program, participants must meet the following general eligibility criteria:

1. Regional Partner Customers: Participants must be customers of one of the Regional Partners participating in the program. These include:

• Rancho California Water District
• Fallbrook Public Utility District
• Rainbow Municipal Water District
• City of Oceanside
• Valley Center Municipal District
• City of Escondido

2. Agricultural Water User: Participants must be classified as an agricultural water user by their water agency.

3. Agency Specific Conditions: Regional Partners reserve the right to establish agency-specific criteria for determining eligibility to participate in the program. If you wish to enroll, kindly visit the program webpage and initiate the application process.

Meeting these general eligibility requirements is the first step towards participating in the CropSWAP program. Specific project-related eligibility criteria will apply depending on the chosen project type, as outlined in the corresponding project- specific sections of this framework.

Participant Options

Participants in the Regional CropSWAP program have the flexibility to choose from the project types mentioned above, tailoring their projects to suit their specific agricultural needs and goals. Please note, however, that if a customer receives a financial incentive for a Comprehensive Crop Upgrade project, they are not be eligible for additional incentives through the Uniformity Improvements. This limitation is in effect because the incentive for Comprehensive Crop Upgrades is “comprehensive” and designed to cover the costs of both plant replacement and irrigation system upgrades. The table above provides details on financial incentive eligibility. Please note that financial incentive amounts will not exceed $50,000 per person in a 12-month period. For additional information, please review the complete project framework.

Payment of Financial Assistance

The participant will receive payment 45 days after submitting acceptable documentation of project costs, completing approved projects, and providing any required photo proof. Total payment will not exceed the actual project cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Regional CropSWAP Program?
The Regional CropSWAP Program is a collaborative effort between Rancho California Water District and other regional partners to provide financial incentives and support for agricultural water users to transition to more water-efficient crops and adopt best management practices.

2. How do I know if I am eligible for this program?
In order to be eligible to participate, you must be a customer of one of the Regional Partners participating in the program and classified as an agricultural water user by your agency. Additional eligibility requirements may apply based on your specific agency.

3. What are the benefits of participating in the Regional CropSWAP program?
Participants in the program will receive financial assistance on a variety of project types aimed at improving sustainability and supporting local agriculture.

4. How long does it take to receive approval of a project after submitting an application?
Once submitted, your project application will be reviewed by the program administrator within 14 days. If approved, you may then begin your project.

5. Do I have to upfront the cost of the project?
The CropSWAP program operates on a reimbursement basis. While you are responsible for covering the upfront project costs, financial assistance will be provided upon project completion and submission of all invoices and receipts.

6. When will I receive financial assistance for my project?
Funding will be disbursed within 45 days following both project completion and verification.

7. Can I participate in the Regional CropSWAP program if I have already started transitioning to lower water usage crops?
No. Any project started prior to the approval or submission of a project application will not qualify for assistance.

8. How much financial assistance can I expect for my project?
Financial assistance will vary depending upon project type. Please refer to the “Types of Rebates” tab on the Regional CropSWAP website for a complete breakdown of financial incentives.

9. Do I need to pay prevailing wages for workers on my CropSWAP project?
Prevailing wages for workers on your CropSWAP project depend on its classification as a “public works” project under California law. If total compensation exceeds $1,000 and it meets public works criteria, prevailing wages are mandated. It’s the participant’s responsibility to determine if your project falls under this category.

10. Are there any restrictions on the type of crops eligible for the program?
Any crop conversion that results in at least 1 acre-foot per acre of water savings annually may be eligible.

11. Are there any requirements or restrictions on the size of the project that can receive financial assistance through CropSWAP?
A participant must have a minimum of one acre of agriculture under irrigation in order to qualify for any of the CropSWAP incentives. There is no size restriction to a project; however, there is a maximum incentive amount depending upon project type.

12. How long do participants have to complete their projects?
The completion timeline varies depending on the project type. For example, Comprehensive Crop Upgrades projects must be completed within 240 days, while Irrigation Efficiency Upgrades and Other Best Management Practices projects must be completed within 90 days following the notice to proceed.