The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals through May 11 for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, part of the agency’s Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program. Now in its second year, the trials help support the adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural land.

“Last year California was very pleased that East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District was among the first groups in the Nation to successfully apply for one of these innovative new trials,” says Carlos Suarez, State Conservationist for NRCS in California. “We hope more RCDs and other eligible groups will apply this year with ideas to help move California forward in cutting-edge conservation.”

“What is great about these demonstrations is that they add research elements to the program design that complement the technical and financial incentives,” said Trina Walley, ESRCD district manager. “The trials include data and economic analyses that farmers really appreciate, she added. Leaders in the soil health arena since 2015, ESRCD received $1.57 million last year to conduct soil health demonstration trials for orchard management systems in the Central Valley.

NRCS will invest up to $25 million on On-Farm Trials in 2020. This total includes up to $10 million for the Soil Health Demonstration Trials (SHD) priority.

The agency will accept proposals from: Private entities whose primary business is related to agriculture; Non-government organizations with experience working with agricultural producers; and Non-Federal government agencies.  

For more information, please visit the funding opportunity for 2020 or visit NRCS’s On-Farm Trials webpage.

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