Conservation Innovations - Spring 2019

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service | Conservation Innovations

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Apply for a Conservation Innovation Grant


Do you or your organization have an innovative idea for solving a conservation challenge? Looking for a funding partner to help turn your idea into reality? The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) wants to help. On May 30, NRCS released the latest national Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) funding announcement, which makes available up to $12.5 million in 2019. Applications are accepted for innovative conservation projects that address at least one of the following 2019 priorities: 1) Increasing the pace and scale of conservation adoption, 2) Water Quantity, 3) Pollinator Habitat, or 4) Innovative Conservation in Urban Agriculture.

Grant proposals are accepted through July 30, 2019.

Read the News Release

USDA Opens Signup for New On-Farm Trials


NRCS is accepting proposals through July 15, 2019 for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials (On-Farm Trials), a new CIG component authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill. On-Farm Trials include a Soil Health Demo Trial, also created by the 2018 Farm Bill.

Funding for On-Farm Trials is distinct from traditional CIG competitive grants funding. Traditional CIG funding is used to support early pilot projects or demonstrations of promising conservation approaches and technologies and is not typically provided directly to producers. On-Farm Trials funding is designed to flow through partners directly to producers to implement innovative approaches that have been well-studied and known to provide conservation benefits.

Visit the CIG On-Farm Trials Webpage


Innovations in Water Conservation


Farmers across the United States are looking for innovative ways to conserve water while maintaining or boosting crop yields. In Southwest Georgia, the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District used a Conservation Innovation Grant to partner with other like-minded groups to advance the technology available for water conservation. The result? A new, mobile-friendly irrigation scheduling tool available for free download.

Read about the New Irrigator Pro App


Revolving Water Fund Closes Its First Pay-For-Success Transaction


In May 2019, the Revolving Water Fund, a project funded by a 2017 Conservation Innovation Grant, announced the closing of a pay-for-success transaction that funds conservation activities on agricultural lands in the Brandywine-Christina Watershed, which covers land in both Pennsylvania and Delaware. In partnership with the City of Newark, Delaware, this first-of-its-kind transaction is designed to leverage private investment in agricultural practices that result in pollution reductions, helping Newark meet its regulatory compliance requirements under the Clean Water Act. This innovative project helps towns and cities like Newark use green infrastructure to manage stormwater effectively while helping producers get more conservation on the ground. The conservation activities funded through the transaction include riparian buffers and fencing along streams that ultimately provide drinking water to municipal residents.

Learn More About the Project


Conservation Innovation in the News

Check out the latest updates from our partners and the media on how CIG projects are advancing innovative conservation approaches and technologies.

The Cattle Business Weekly: Transferring research and experience to on-pasture practices

Southeast AG NET: Irrigation scheduling app for Georgia farmers

Minnesota Ag Connection: Efficient seeding of cover crops into double-crop soybeans

Farm Progress: Research to improve soil care in organic production systems

CT Post: Exploring shellfish restoration in Long Island Sound

Visit CIG online

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