NRCS Prioritizes Organic in Conservation Innovation Grants Program

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering up to $2 million for one- to three-year projects that investigate innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Proposals are due February 26, 2018.
Organic Agriculture Systems is one of three Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) priorities for fiscal year 2018. NRCS specifically requests proposals that help organic producers implement and evaluate conservation practices. Proposals submitted under this priority area must address at least one of these specific issues:
  • Cropping and tillage systems that build soil health
  • No-till or reduced tillage systems that improve weed control and reduce erosion
  • Edge-of-field monitoring for water quality
  • Developing innovative crop rotations for the organic transition that build soil health and lead to organic certification
  • Developing intercropping systems that increase biodiversity, manage pests, and utilize cover crops.
Other priority areas for the upcoming fiscal year are grazing lands and soil health.
CIG grants can be awarded to non-federal governmental organizations, non-profits, American Indian tribes, or individuals. Producers involved in CIG-funded projects must be eligible for NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). All proposals must include at least 100 percent matching funds.
Refer to a more detailed summary of the funding opportunity online. Click on the Related Documents tab and then on the link to USDA-NRCS-NHQ-CIG-001.pdf. This page also includes links to application materials.
For additional information, contact USDA NRCS CIG staff at (202) 720-1895 or