WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the
availability of $65 million through two funding opportunities for new tools, approaches, practices
and technologies to further natural resource conservation on private lands through the Conservation
Innovation Grants (CIG) program.
Two separate CIG funding opportunities are now available on grants.gov: $50 million through CIG On-
Farm Trials and $15 million is available through CIG Classic. For more information visit USDA.gov
For CIG On-Farm Trials, this year’s funding priorities are:
- Irrigation water management technologies
- Nutrient management
- Feeding management and enteric methane reduction
- Grazing lands
- Soil health demonstration trials
For CIG Classic, this year’s funding priorities are:
- Habitat conservation and restoration for wildlife and invertebrates
- Managing agricultural lands to improve local water quality
- Energy conservation
- Strengthening conservation through indigenous knowledge
Strong consideration will be given to proposals that include Historically Underserved entities and
individuals. This opportunity is open to all domestic non-federal entities and individuals based in
the United States for projects carried out in the U.S. Applications are being accepted now through
October 30, 2023.
CIG is a competitive grants program. Through creative problem solving and innovation, CIG partners
work to address our nation’s water quality, water quantity, air quality, soil health and wildlife
habitat challenges, all while improving agricultural operations. CIG contributes to USDA’s efforts
to address climate change through climate-smart agriculture.
CIG 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 Demonstration (SHD) Trial component of On-Farm Trials focuses exclusively on
implementation of conservation practices and systems that improve soil health.
A critical element of each On-Farm Trials project is the project evaluation. Partners must propose
robust scientific approaches to their On-Farm Trials, resulting in data and analyses of the
environmental, financial, and to the extent possible, social impacts of the trials.
NRCS will use the results of On-Farm Trials project evaluations and analyses to explore the
development of new NRCS conservation assistance, guidance documents, technical tools, and
conservation practice standards or modifications to existing ones.