Drainage Contractor

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USDA announces $15M for Conversation Innovation Grants


April 28, 2020
By Drainage Contractor

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a $15-million investment to help support the adoption of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals through June 29, 2020, for national Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). All U.S.-based, non-federal entities and individuals are eligible to apply.

The purpose of CIG projects is to boost the adoption and development of conservation approaches on farms, ranches and private forests and improve natural resources. This year’s priorities are water reuse, water quality, air quality, energy and wildlife habitat.

This national CIG program is different from the $25 million announced on Mar. 12, 2020 for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials. The On-Farm Trials is a separate CIG component created by the 2018 Farm Bill and includes a soil health demonstration trial.

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CIG applications must be submitted through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 29, 2020. A webinar for potential applicants is scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT on May 13, 2020. Those interested can register for the CIG Webinar for Applicants of 2020 Notice of Funding here.

In 2019, USDA invested $12.5 million for national Conservation Innovation Grants and focused on projects increasing the pace and scale of conservation adoption, and projects in water quantity, pollinator habitat, and urban agriculture.