Conservation Innovation Grants

Conservation Innovation Grants

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering grants for innovative ideas for conservation strategies and technologies. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Idaho plans to invest up to $225,000 in the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program, funding innovative conservation projects in three focus areas: grazing lands, soil health and management to benefit threatened and endangered species or species of greatest conservation need. Grant proposals are due June 7, 2019.


"Conservation Innovation Grants 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. "Today's announcement supports our efforts to help producers build economically-strong and resilient farms and ranches by providing producers tools to utilize across their working farmlands."


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  , which includes application materials and submission procedures.


CIG is authorized and funded under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Projects can last up to three years. The maximum award amount for any project in Idaho this year is $75,000.

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