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Signup Continues for National Conservation Innovation Grants

Dan Economy, Environment, USDA-NRCS

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USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service reminds landowners their signup period for National Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) continues. USDA is investing up to $12.5 million to help support the adoption of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands. CIG are competitive grants driving public and private sector innovation in resource conservation, with projects inspiring creative problem-solving that boosts production on farms, ranches, and private forests – ultimately improving water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat.

New in the 2018 Farm Bill, On-Farm Trials support more widespread adoption of innovative approaches, practices and systems on working lands. These projects feature collaboration between NRCS and partners to implement on-the-ground conservation activities and then evaluate their impact. Incentive payments are provided to producers to offset the risk of implementing innovative approaches. A component of this is the Soil Health Demo Trial (SHD) which focuses exclusively on implementation of conservation practices and systems that improve soil health. Eligible entities receiving SHD awards agree to follow consistent soil health assessment protocols to evaluate the impacts of practice and system implementation.

All non-Federal entities and individuals are eligible to apply, but all CIG projects must involve Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)-eligible producers. NRCS is accepting CIG proposals through July 29, 2019. Applications should be submitted through Grants.gov.