USDA looking for innovations in climate-smart agriculture and soil health
PORTLAND, Ore., July 26, 2022 – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that it will invest 25 million dollars this year for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials Program.
Through CIG, partners work to address our nation’s water quality, water quantity, air quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat challenges, all while improving agricultural operations. The on-farm trial component of CIG supports the widespread adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches in partnership with agricultural producers. This year’s funding priorities are climate-smart agricultural solutions, irrigation water management, nutrient management and soil health.
“Through science and innovation, we can develop solutions to address the climate crisis, conserve and protect our water, improve soil health, and create economic opportunities for producers,” said Terry Cosby, Chief of the Conservation Service. of USDA Natural Resources (NRCS). “Through on-farm trials, partners can work directly with farmers and ranchers to test and adopt new strategies on farmland, accelerating the development and application of conservation that works for producers and the soil.”
For FY 2022, to ensure that capital is involved in on-farm trial planning and delivery, at least 10% of the total funds available for on-farm trials are set aside for proposals that fully benefit historically underserved (HU) producers . Additionally, applicants competing for the HU waiver may waive the non-federal match requirements.
Applications for on-farm trials are being accepted now through September 22, 2022. Private entities whose primary business is related to agriculture, non-governmental organizations with experience working with agricultural producers, and non-federal government agencies are eligible to apply. For more information and to apply, visit grants.gov.
About CIG trials on the farm On-farm trial projects feature collaboration between NRCS and partners to implement conservation activities in the field and then evaluate their impact. Incentive payments are offered to manufacturers to offset the risk of implementing innovative approaches.
The Soil Health Demonstration (SHD) component of the on-farm trials focuses exclusively on the implementation of conservation practices and systems that improve soil health.
A critical element of any on-farm trial project is evaluation. Partners must propose robust scientific approaches to their on-farm trials, resulting in data and analysis of the environmental, financial and, to the extent possible, social impacts of the trials.
NRCS intends to use the results of the on-farm trial project evaluations and analyzes to explore the development of new NRCS business practices, guidance documents, technical tools, and conservation practice standards or modifications to existing ones.
For more information about the Conservation Innovation Grants program, visit NKRSH website.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, and ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and income streams for farmers and producers who use climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in clean energy infrastructure and capacity in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.
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