FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: NRCS Invites Proposals for 2021 Conservation Innovation Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals through April 23 for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to help support the adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural, forest lands and oak woodlands. 

CIG funds on-farm trials, field demonstrations and pilot projects to develop and/or demonstrate innovative conservation approaches and technologies that have been sufficiently studied, have a likelihood of success, but haven’t been widely adopted.

“The scope of this year’s CIG is much broader than last year’s and is not limited to on-farm trials,” says Carlos Suarez, State Conservationist for NRCS in California. “NRCS will invest up to $1 million for on-farm trials, field demonstrations and pilot projects in 2021.”

The CIG program this year   prioritizes focusing on development and demonstration of innovative technologies related to resource inventory, treatment guidelines, quantifying benefits of soil health, carbon sequestration, pollinator and wildlife habitat, fuel management, air and water quality on agricultural lands, forest and oak woodlands. Additionally, the CIG program includes funding for development of methods to encourage agricultural producers to adopt soil health practices and better equip historically underserved specialty crop farmers to implement irrigation and nutrient management.

CIG funds can be used by partners to help compensate producers for risks associated with applying new conservation practices and approaches. Field trials and demonstrations also require evaluation of environmental, financial, and social impacts resulting from implementation of conservation approaches through CIG at the farm or field level. 

Detailed information on the types of proposals NRCS is seeking can be found in the USDA NRCS CA CIG FY21 Notice of Funding Opportunity in the related documents section of the Grants.gov link below. 

NRCS will accept proposals from U.S based, non-federal entities and individuals including Native American tribal governments and organizations, city, county and state governments, special districts, nonprofits, independent school districts, public and private institutions of higher learning. 

California CIG application materials are available on Grants.gov offsite link image. Complete application packages must be received by 8:59 p.m. Pacific Time on April 23, 2021 through Grants.gov.

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