Proposals sought for grazing lands, organic systems, soil health
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making $10 million available for new Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) nationwide. Grant proposals are due Feb. 26, 2018. This year funding focuses on three areas:
Grazing Lands: Helping livestock producers make grazing management decisions, encouraging prescribed burning as a grazing management practice, and improving access to conservation planning tools used for developing grazing management plans.
Organic Agriculture Systems: Helping organic producers develop innovative cropping and tillage systems, edge-of-field monitoring, crop rotations and intercropping systems.
Soil Health: Supporting both cropping and grazing systems, in a variety of climatic zones, that incorporate soil health management systems for addressing specific resource concerns like nutrients and availability. Evaluating multiple soil health assessment methods to assist in the development of new soil health indicators and thresholds.
The announcement for program funding, application materials and submission procedures can be found on www.grants.gov. All U.S.-based entities and individuals are invited to apply, with the sole exception of federal agencies. Up to 20 percent of CIG funds will be set aside for proposals from historically underserved producers, veteran farmers or ranchers or groups serving these customers.
NRCS is hosting a webinar for potential CIG applicants on Jan. 11, 2018, at 4 p.m. Eastern. Information on how to join the webinar can be found on the NRCS CIG webpage.
CIG is authorized and funded under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Projects can last up to three years. The maximum award amount for any project this year is $2 million.