NRCS solicits conservation innovation proposals

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced about $400,000 is available in 2013 for the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in Virginia.

This year, NRCS is offer Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) funding for projects within the state that focus on soil health, silvopasture establishment, nutrient management and economics (cost and benefits of conservation). Soil health submissions can address a wide range of topics, including education and outreach, crop diversity, grazing management and soil-health-building farming systems. Innovative approaches that promote soil health in other ways are also strongly encouraged.

“Soil health is a priority need for our 2013 CIG projects,” says NRCS state conservationist Jack Bricker. “We’re looking for demonstration projects that seek to improve soil health and function on Virginia farmland to increase productivity, profitability and the environmental impact of agriculture. Proposals that address multiple principles and integrated systems will receive a higher ranking from our review group.”

CIG grants will be awarded for projects between one and three years’ duration with individual awards not exceeding $75,000. Entities and individuals – including state and local units of government, and non-governmental organizations – who are interested in applying for these competitive grants must submit pre-proposals by May 3. Those who are selected will be notified by May 24.

For more information on the CIG grants, visit

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