The new regulations stem from a 2003 law, which restricts agriculture-related burnings. Beginning this month farmers are no longer be allowed to burn a long list of materials. They include field crops like alfalfa and corn. Prunings of citrus crops and nursery remnants are also on the list.
Anthony Presto of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District says the restrictions will curtail specific types of pollution.
"Ozone forming pollutants as well as particulate matter. And Agriculture burning contributes to both of those types of pollution."
Farmers have been preparing for the ban. A spokeswoman for the California Farm Bureau says many have already turned to other forms of disposal like shredding and chipping.
Over the next five years the ban will be expanded to include other crops. By the year 2010, the burning of almond, apple and pear prunings will also be prohibited.
(Photo courtesy: San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District)