GA Conservation Innovation Grant -2014

The summary for the GA Conservation Innovation Grant -2014 grant is detailed below. This summary states who is eligible for the grant, how much grant money will be awarded, current and past deadlines, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers, and a sampling of similar government grants. Verify the accuracy of the data FederalGrants.com provides by visiting the webpage noted in the Link to Full Announcement section or by contacting the appropriate person listed as the Grant Announcement Contact. If any section is incomplete, please visit the website for the Georgia State Office, which is the U.S. government agency offering this grant.
GA Conservation Innovation Grant -2014: The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is announcing availability of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Georgia NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2014 will be up to $150,000. Applications are requested from eligible governmental or non-governmental organizations or individuals for competitive consideration of grant awards for projects between one and three years in duration. This notice identifies the objectives, eligibility criteria, and application instructions for CIG projects. Applications will be screened for completeness and compliance with the provisions of this notice. Incomplete applications will be eliminated from competition, and notification of elimination will be mailed to the applicant. Applications must be received by NRCS before 4 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST) on May 9, 2014. Applications sent via express mail or overnight courier service must be sent to the following address: USDA-NRCS, CIG Program, 355 East Hancock Avenue, Mail Stop 200, Athens, GA 30601. The contact phone number is: (706) 546-2059. Applications sent via the United States Postal Service must be sent to the following address: USDA-NRCS, CIG Program, 355 East Hancock Avenue, Mail Stop 200, Athens, GA 30601. Applications sent electronically must be sent through www.grants.gov or to dale.bogardus@ga.usda.gov. The Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program was authorized as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) under section 2207 of the Agricultural Act of 2014. The Secretary of Agriculture delegated the authority for the administration of EQIP and CIG to the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), who is Vice President of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). EQIP is funded and administered by NRCS under the authorities of the CCC. The purpose of CIG is to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies, while leveraging the Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection in conjunction with agricultural production. CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches into NRCS policy, technical manuals, guides, and references, or to the private sector. CIG does not fund research projects and projects intended to test hypotheses do not qualify for a CIG award. CIG is used to apply or demonstrate previously proven technology. It is a vehicle to stimulate development and adoption of conservation approaches or technologies that have been studied sufficiently to indicate a high likelihood of success, and that are candidates for eventual technology transfer or institutionalization. CIG promotes sharing of skills, knowledge, technologies, and facilities among communities, governments, and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users. CIG funds projects targeting innovative on-the-ground conservation, including pilot projects and field demonstrations. NRCS will accept applications under this notice for single or multi-year projects, not to exceed 3 years, submitted to Georgia NRCS. Eligible entities include Federally recognized Indian Tribes, State and local units of government, and non-governmental organizations and individuals. Applications will be screened for completeness and compliance with the provisions of this notice. Incomplete applications will be eliminated from competition, and notification of elimination will be sent to the applicant. Complete applications received by applicable deadlines will be technically reviewed and evaluated by a Georgia Review Board based on the Application Evaluation Criteria identified in the application instructions contained in the full announcement. The Georgia Review Board will make recommendations for project approval to the NRCS State Conservationist who will make the final selections. Innovative Conservation Projects or Activities For the purposes of CIG, the proposed innovative project or activity must encompass the development, demonstration, evaluation, implementation, and monitoring of: • Conservation adoption approaches or incentive systems; or • Promising conservation technologies, practices, systems, procedures, or approaches; or • Environmental soundness with goals of environmental protection and natural resource enhancement. To be given priority consideration, the innovative project or activity must comply with all federal, state, and local regulations throughout the duration of the project and should: • Make use of a proven technology or a technology that has been studied sufficiently to indicate a high probability for success; • Demonstrate and verify environmental (soil, water, air, plants, energy, and animal) effectiveness, utility, affordability, and usability of conservation technology in the field; • Adapt conservation technologies, management, practices, systems, procedures, approaches, and incentive systems to improve performance and encourage adoption; • Introduce conservation systems, approaches, and procedures from another geographic area or agricultural sector; or • Demonstrate transferability of knowledge. State Component For FY 2014, NRCS will consider offering CIG in the following areas: Energy, Adaptation to Drought, Specialty Crops and Soil Health. Proposals that demonstrate the use of innovative technologies and/or approaches to address at least one bulleted topic listed below will be considered. Proposals must identify the most appropriate bulleted topic the innovation/technology is addressing. Additional topics (not listed below) may be considered at the State Conservationist’s discretion. If an additional topic is proposed for the State Conservationist’s consideration, it must be identified as such in the proposal. Proposals must identify the most appropriate category for the proposal. Energy The objective of this sub-category is to implement new technologies and approaches to conserve energy and produce renewal energy while sustaining agricultural productivity. Subtopics include: • Innovative implementation systems to achieve greater use of energy audits including energy audits that address cropland in addition to buildings and equipment; • Innovative on-farm energy conservation technologies; • Innovative on-farm applications of renewable energy production technologies to displace fossil fuel energy; • Sustainable biomass production, harvest, and handling technologies; • Evaluate and demonstrate the use of fast-growing woody biomass species in agroforestry systems e.g., alley cropping, riparian forest buffers, windbreaks, etc. Adaptation to Drought The objective of this sub-category is to implement new technologies and approaches that demonstrate and/or enhance system resilience to drought. Special Interest Subtopics Include: • Demonstrate innovative cropping or grazing systems, specific to one or more growing regions of the U.S., that increase resiliency to drought via improved soil health while maintaining economic viability. • Demonstrate and quantify the rate of increase in available soil water holding capacity as a function of soil properties, management practices (e.g. tillage, amendments, crop residue inputs), and/or climate. • Demonstrate innovative water conserving crop and plant selection in coordination with USDA-NRCS Plant Material Centers. Emphasize drought resistant plant material and innovative plant placement, row spacing, seedbed configuration, or other cultural practices for increased drought tolerance. • Demonstrate and evaluate innovative approaches for improving water use efficiency for agricultural production, such as irrigation or other soil moisture management systems, • Develop and demonstrate appropriate nutrient management recommendations following an extended drought. • Georgia region-specific evaluation of how various enterprise systems, cropping systems, and/or conservation systems, on a farm-by-farm basis, performed during drought conditions from both an economic and natural resources conservation perspective. Applicants must describe how they plan to approach regionalization of their analysis. • Evaluate and document the agricultural approaches that flourish in drought stricken areas and low precipitation areas of the world, and develop demonstrations of those that are most promising. • Evaluate and demonstrate region-specific traditional/historical production practices that have proven effective in dealing with drought. • Demonstrate and evaluate alternative feeding systems for confined animal operations that incorporate novel drought-tolerant feedstocks. • Demonstrate alternative housing and/or heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) systems for confined animal operations to improve energy efficiency while allowing for better indoor climate control to promote animal productivity even during periods of extreme high or low temperatures or other ambient conditions (particularly relative humidity). • Demonstrate alternative manure management systems for confined animal operations that reduce water use, utilize water recycling, and/or reduce evaporation. An example may be to convert from an uncovered liquid manure management and storage system in an arid or drought-affected area to one that conserves and/or reuses water. • Technology transfer to Beginning Farmers or Ranchers, Socially Disadvantaged Farmers or Ranchers, Limited Resource Farmers or Ranchers, Indian tribes, Land Grant Colleges and Universities, or community-based organizations that demonstrates and/or enhances system resilience to drought. Specialty Crops The objective of this sub-category is to focus on natural resource concerns related to specialty crops, including conservation technology specific to specialty production systems, field data or tools for conservation planning, and evaluation of NRCS conservation practice standards for integration into specialty crops production systems. Technology Needs • Demonstrate conservation systems for specialty crops using seasonal tunnels involving crop rotations, cover crops, conservation tillage, nutrient management, pest management, and irrigation systems; • Develop and test new tools for measuring soil carbon where specialty crops are grown and on organic farms; • Demonstrate technology to determine which crops help to suppress specific pests and the sequencing of the crops to minimize pests (weeds, insects, diseases) in specialty crop systems; • Demonstrate conservation systems to include crop rotations, cover crops, organic mulches, conservation tillage, etc. in lieu of plastic culture; • Demonstrate the proper crops and the sequence of the crops to maximize the nutrient cycling in specialty crop production systems; • Demonstrate harvesting times and techniques that may minimize pest damage for the planned commodity; • Demonstrate technology to determine the amount (acres) of habitat required to provide adequate pest control, matching plant species to attract desirable beneficial insect species, and managing habitat to provide pest control during the cropping season; • Demonstrate technology to determine how cover crops can be used for the production of specialty crops to include orchards and vineyards to provide erosion control, recycle crop nutrients, improve soil quality, pest control for the next crop in rotation, and other ecosystem services. • Demonstrate technology on how agroforestry can be used for the production of specialty crops to provide erosion control, recycle crop nutrients, improve soil quality, improve pollinator habitat, and other ecosystem services. • Identify conservation needs to support shellfish production and provide recommendations to address conservation needs. Soil Health • Demonstrate and quantify the impacts of cover crops, crop rotations, tillage and/or soil amendments on soil chemical, physical, and/or biological properties and their relationships with nutrient cycling, soil water availability, and plant growth. • Demonstrate and quantify the rate of increase in available soil water holding capacity as a function of soil properties (e.g., particle size, mineralogy), management practices (e.g., tillage, amendments, cover crop or crop residue inputs), and/or climate. • Development of optimal species mixes, seeding rates and seeding methods (e.g., inter-seeding, inter-cropping, frost-seeding) to enhance cover crop establishment/survival and increase soil organic matter. • Quantify and demonstrate the impacts of Soil Health Management Systems on nutrient losses through surface and subsurface pathways for tile-drained and non-drained soils. • Development of a decision support tool that incorporates the impacts of crop residue/cover crop quality parameters (e.g., cellulose, lignin, C/N) on decomposition and nutrient turnover for designing Soil Health Management Systems that optimize nutrient availability, control soil-born diseases, and increase available soil water holding capacity. • Demonstrate and quantify the impacts of cover crop presence, species mix, and management (e.g., termination growth stage, tillage practice) on soil water content and subsequent crop yield across a range of climates and cropping systems. • Demonstrate and quantify impacts of soil health promoting practices (e.g., no-tillage, cover crops, crop rotations) on yield, yield variability, and economics of crop production across a range of soils, cropping systems, and climates. • Demonstrate and quantify the impacts of Soil Health Management Systems (e.g., cover crops, reduced tillage) on key soil health attributes (e.g., available water holding capacity, disease suppression, nutrient cycling) and determine the extent to which the rates of change are influenced by climate, organic input chemical composition/placement, and soil properties (e.g., particle size, mineralogy). This should be conducted across a range of inherent soil properties, cropping systems, and climates to develop a Decision Support Tool that promotes selection and design of the components of a Soil Health Management System. • Demonstrate innovative approaches for adopting soil health promoting practices in relatively cool and/or wet climates (e.g., zone tillage, short season cultivars). Demonstrate and quantify at a watershed scale the water quality impacts of installing conservation systems that support and improve soil health.
Federal Grant Title: GA Conservation Innovation Grant -2014
Federal Agency Name: Georgia State Office
Grant Categories: Agriculture Energy Environment Natural Resources
Type of Opportunity: Discretionary
Funding Opportunity Number: USDA-NRCS-GA-14-0001
Type of Funding: Cooperative Agreement
CFDA Numbers: 10.912
CFDA Descriptions: Environmental Quality Incentives Program
Current Application Deadline: Apr 30, 2014
Original Application Deadline: Apr 30, 2014
Posted Date: Mar 14, 2014
Creation Date: Mar 14, 2014
Archive Date: Sep 30, 2014
Total Program Funding: $150,000
Maximum Federal Grant Award: $75,000
Minimum Federal Grant Award: $25,000
Expected Number of Awards: 3
Cost Sharing or Matching: Yes
Applicants Eligible for this Grant
Individuals
County governments
City or township governments
For profit organizations other than small businesses
State governments
Small businesses
Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Link to Full Grant Announcement
Information not provided
Grant Announcement Contact
Dale Bogardus Management Analysis Phone 706-546-2059
work email

Georgia State Office 202-690-0164
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