"Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) play a critical role in developing and implementing new methods to help our customers conserve natural resources, strengthen their local communities, and improve their bottom lines," said Curtis Elke, State Conservationist in Boise. "We are extremely pleased to be able to open up a second application period so that even more cutting-edge ideas have the opportunity to take part in this program."
The NRCS uses CIG to work with partners to accelerate transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches that address some of the nation's most pressing natural resource concerns. This year, applications for all resource concerns will be considered by Idaho. These include Rangeland, Wildlife, Soil Health and any other categories that relate to NRCS conservation priorities. Special consideration for funding will be given to applications that relate to the following priorities related to Water Quantity and Quality:
Irrigation Water Management: This priority will focus on innovative water management systems that enhance a producer's ability to monitor irrigation needs effectively; manage irrigation practices efficiently; and increase water, energy, and nutrient savings while maintaining high levels of food and fiber production. Innovative irrigation systems should focus on balancing producer needs with conservation benefits
Source Water Protection/Precision Agriculture: This priority will focus on innovative processes to protect source water from pollutants and contaminants through proper application of pesticides, herbicides and proper farming practices using precision and other agricultural techniques that can demonstrate their usefulness in the protection of source water.
"Every sector of American agriculture has its unique conservation challenges," Elke said. "CIG enables USDA to help support new, innovative tools and techniques which have helped U.S. agriculture become the powerhouse we see today, leading the world in both production efficiency and conservation delivery."
Potential applicants should review the announcement of program funding available at www.grants.gov , which includes application materials and submission procedures.