New WSDA Compost Reimbursement Program

Author: Amy Clow, Quarantine, Compost, & Rules Coordinator at the Washington State Department of Agriculture

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Producers can now be reimbursed for compost-related expenses. Learn how to apply in this article.

Reducing the Cost of Compost

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has launched a new program that reimburses farmers for compost-related expenses. The Compost Reimbursement Program will distribute approximately $1 million annually to farmers across Washington to encourage on-farm compost use. All commercial Washington farms – including those in agriculture, silviculture, and aquaculture – are eligible for the program. Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. For eligible farms, the program will pay up to 50% of the cost to obtain, transport, and spread compost, not to exceed $10,000 per farming operation per year. 

The program will also study the benefits of compost application on soil quality. Farms participating in the program are required to collect and submit soil samples for several years from fields where compost was applied. Additionally, the compost must be purchased from a business with a solid waste handling permit. Farms cannot be reimbursed for their own compost or compost that they have transferred or intend to transfer to someone else.

How to Apply

Producers must first apply to and be approved for the program, ensuring that their business and compost source are eligible. Once approved, program participants must sign a grant agreement contract and conduct pre-application soil sampling before applying the compost. After expenses are incurred, applicants will submit a reimbursement application for their total expenses. The expenses are then calculated and the applicant is reimbursed. 

WSDA anticipates accepting applications beginning in October. But producers can sign up now to be notified once the application period opens. Applications will continue to be accepted until the allotted funds are spent each fiscal year, which runs from July through June.

The Washington State Legislature established the Compost Reimbursement Program earlier this year when they passed and funded Revised Code of Washington 15.04.420. WSDA has been setting up the infrastructure since then and will begin accepting applications once the infrastructure is in place to collect, process, and reimburse the grant applications. 

Machinery grinding up compost.

Learn more about the Compost Reimbursement Program on WSDA’s website or email You can also read more about compost applications as a soil health practice in our resources.

A woman in a blue shirt smiling in front of a brick wall, promoting a compost program.

Amy Clow

Quarantine, Compost, & Rules Coordinator at the Washington State Department of Agriculture

This article was published by the Washington Soil Health Initiative. For more information, visit To have these posts delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to the WaSHI newsletter. To find a soil science technical service provider, visit the Washington State University Extension website or the Washington State Conservation District website.