It’s time to schedule CDQAP evaluations.

By Denise Mullinax, Assistant Director, CDQAP

Nearly 800 dairy facilities throughout the state are CDQAP Environmentally Certified. There are many benefits for producers who take this step to demonstrate their environmental commitment to their neighbors, their processor, and beyond. Benefits include an improved understanding of regulatory requirements and scientifically- proven, cost-effective practices, “peace of mind” of compliance via a dairy-friendly on-farm evaluation without risk of regulatory enforcement, and a 50% reduction in annual water quality permit fees (currently valued at $250-$6,500 per year depending on size). With your 2019 Annual Report complete, summer irrigation underway, and the weather still warm, now is the perfect window to complete certification. The deadline is September 30th to be eligible for a 50% discount on state water quality permits for 2020- 2021. Evaluations are scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis. Call before September 1 to schedule your evaluation to ensure that it can be completed before the deadline.

The voluntary certification program is an easy, three-step process:

  1. Complete classes (6 hours of water quality and 2 hours of air quality).
  2. Complete required record-keeping documentation for water and air
  3. Complete an on-farm, third-party evaluation.

CDQAP classes are led by UC Cooperative Extension and are available online. The “one-stop-shopping” style classes provide current, need-to-know information, help with regulatory record-keeping and reporting, and the latest scientific assessment of manure management options.

Both education classes and evaluation checklists are region-specific. To remain certified, dairy facilities must successfully complete an on-farm evaluation once every five years, with annual monitoring and reporting check-ins. Evaluations cost $550 per facility.

To learn more about CDQAP Environmental Certification, your class completion status, or to schedule an evaluation, call (530) 574-0524.