U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials – Newly authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill, On-Farm Trials supports more widespread adoption of innovative approaches, practices and systems on working lands. On-Farm Trials projects feature collaboration between NRCS and partners to implement on-the-ground conservation activities and then evaluate their impact. Incentive payments are provided to producers to offset the risk of implementing innovative approaches.

The Soil Health Demo Trial (SHD) component of On-Farm Trials focuses exclusively on implementation of conservation practices and systems that improve soil health. Eligible entities receiving SHD awards agree to follow consistent soil health assessment protocols to evaluate the impacts of practice and system implementation.

Up to $25 million annually is available for On-Farm Trials. Funding goes directly to partners, which in turn provide technical assistance and incentive payments to producers to implement innovative approaches on their lands. Producers receiving On-Farm Trials payments must be eligible to participate in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The maximum On-Farm Trials award for 2019 is $5 million. The minimum award is $250,000.

Who Is Eligible

On-Farm Trials are open to private entities whose primary business is related to agriculture, non-governmental organizations with experience working with agricultural producers, and non-Federal government agencies.

Webinar

A webinar for applicants is scheduled for May 29, 2019 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. 

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted through Grants.gov. Access the latest On-Farm Trials funding announcement, which is open from May 15-July 15, 2019. 

The grants.gov electronic submission interface is called Workspace. Workspace is the standard way for organizations or individuals to apply for federal grants in grants.gov. Workspace allows an applicant grant team to access and edit different forms within an application simultaneously. In addition, the forms may be filled out online or as a PDF.  An overview of Workspace can be viewed at grants.gov (WEBINAR - Getting Started with Workspace: Become a Workspace Wizard).

Please allow extra time to register in Workspace because there are several preliminary registration steps before an applicant can submit the application. To register, go to grants.gov, click on “Applicants”, then click on “Get Registered.” If you have completed a prior grants.gov application, you may already have completed the registration process. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (e.g., Braille, large print, or audio tape) should contact the USDA TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).