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Agricultural News

Conservation innovation Grants Due By End of the Month

Thu, 05 Jan 2012 06:12:40 CST

Conservation innovation Grants Due By End of the Month Ron Hilliard, State Conservationist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service announced today that the deadline for pre-proposals for the 2012 NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) are due on January 31, 2012. He said that "this program supports large-scale demonstration projects that test and provide original approaches to conserving America's private lands."

     US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack said, "Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) continue to generate exciting new ideas that help farmers and ranchers run sustainable and profitable operations and address high-priority natural resource concerns. We are proud to encourage the advancement of innovative conservation methods that will benefit producers, the public, and the economy for years to come."

      This year's projects focus on: nutrient management, energy conservation, soil health, wildlife, and project assessment. NRCS is especially interested in projects that demonstrate:
*Optimal combinations of nutrient source, application rate, placement and timing that improve nutrient recovery by crops.

*Procedures for refining the usefulness of the phosphorus index in reducing phosphorus losses.

*Suites of conservation practices that protect water quality.

*Renewable energy systems that reduce the use of fossil fuels and increase energy efficiency on farms.
*The impacts of cover crops, crop rotations, tillage, and other conservation practices on soil health.
*Conservation practices that increase the water-holding capacity of soils.
*Decision tools that help producers assess their operations and conservation needs in order to improve wildlife habitat.
*Assess the technology transfer potential of completed CIG projects.

State Conservationist Hilliard explained: "There are two types of eligibility for CIG-applicant eligibility and project eligibility. For applicant eligibility, an applicant must be located in one of the following areas: the 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianna Islands. Also, an applicant must be one of the following: a federally recognized Indian Tribe; a State or local government; a non-governmental organization, or a private individual."

For eligibility, the proposed project must encompass the development and assessment, evaluation and implementation of either of the following: conservation adoption approaches or incentive systems, including market-based systems; or promising conservation technologies, practices, systems, procedures, or activities. Landowners must meet   Environmental Quality Incentives Program eligibility requirements.

CIG funds will be awarded through a competitive grants process. At least 50 percent of the total cost of CIG projects must come from non-Federal matching funds, including cash and in-kind contributions provided by the grant recipient.

To learn more online about the Conservation Innovation Grant program, click here. You can also visit your local USDA Service Center.



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