were established to fund projects that would stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers Conservation Innovation Grants as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
Grants are awarded to state and local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, non-governmental organizations, and individuals. NRCS uses CIG to invest in innovative, on-the-ground conservation technologies and approaches with the goal of wide-scale adoption to address water quality and quantity, air quality, energy conservation, and environmental markets, among other natural resource issues.
Funding for Conservation Innovation Grants is announced each year through a funding notice, and funds are awarded through a nationwide competitive grants process. In addition, states have an opportunity to conduct an annual competitive process.
FY 2011 Projects Announced
State Awarded Project
Irrigation Pumping Plant Efficiency Tests for Rice Producers
Awardee: LSU AgCenter
This project will demonstrate and conduct irrigation pumping plant efficiency tests for rice producers and empower and facilitate the development of "third-party" auditors to conduct these tests for crop producers across Louisiana.
Nationally Awarded Projects
In August 2011, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, announced 52 winning proposals for 2011 .
Two of the winning proposals will be carried out in Louisiana:
Precision Nitrogen Injection Using Integrated Optical Sensing and Variable Rate Technologies
AR, LA, MO, MS, TN
Awardee: University of Tennessee
This project will demonstrate to producers and other interested groups the procedures and benefits of utilizing these innovative precision technologies: optical sensing and variable-rate application, to manage spatial variability within individual fields of cotton. The goal of this project is to encourage producers' adoption of these new precision N management technologies and systems on their farms to reduce N fertilizer consumption and potential N losses, improve cotton productivity, and thus improve water quality and grower profitability in the Mississippi River Basin.
Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops
AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, ID, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NJ, NY, NC, OR, PA, SC, TX, WA, WI
The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops (SISC) is a multi-stakeholder initiative to develop a system for measuring sustainable performance throughout the specialty crop supply chain. Renewal funding was awarded to continue an unprecedented collaboration amongst the nation’s most influential grower organizations, NGOs, and buyers of specialty crop products. This project is making progress toward providing a suite of outcomes-based metrics to enable operators at any point along the supply chain to benchmark, compare, and communicate their own performance in meeting sustainability goals.
| || |
Women and Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers Claims Adjudication Process
If you believe that USDA improperly denied farm loan benefits to you for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000 because you are a female or because you are Hispanic, you may be eligible to apply for compensation. To request a claims package by telephone, call 1-888-508-4429. To request a claims package online, please visit www.farmerclaims.gov
Native American Farmer and Rancher Class Action Settlement (Keepseagle v. Vilsack)
If you are a Native American who was denied a farm loan or loan servicing by the USDA between January 1, 1981, and November 24, 1999, you may be eligible for benefits from a Class Action Settlement. To request a claims package by telephone, call: 1-888-233-5506. To request a claims package online, or for more information, please visit: www.indianfarmclass.com
African American Farmer and Rancher Class Action Settlement (Pigford II)
If you are an African American farmer (a) who submitted a request to file a late claim on or between October 13, 1999, and June 18, 2008, under the 1999 USDA settlement in the earlier class action known as Pigford v. Glickman ("Pigford") and (b) who did not receive a merits determination on your discrimination claim, you may be eligible for benefits from a Class Action Settlement. To hear information by telephone, call 1-866-950-5547 or 1-866-472-7826. To find information online, please visit: www.blackfarmercase.com