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NRCS Awards $1.3 Million in Conservation Innovation Grants in Missouri

NRCS Awards $1.3 Million in Conservation Innovation Grants in Missouri

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded more than $1.3 million dollars in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to entities across Missouri for six projects that test and prove innovative approaches to conserving America’s private lands.  Three of the awarded projects, submitted by the Curators of the University of Missouri, were awarded more than $1 million.  Other projects, submitted by Southeast Missouri State University, Kansas State University and the University of Arkansas, total $279,206 and will also directly impact Missouri.

Grant winners will demonstrate innovative approaches to improving soil health, increasing pollinator and wildlife habitat, protecting water quality and producing on-farm energy savings. Grant recipients will pay 50 percent of all project costs.

Two University of Missouri projects will promote soil health through the adoption of cover crop soil conservation practices that improve ecosystems and farm profitability.  The adopted practices are cover crops, conservation crop rotation, residue management/no-till, nutrient management and pest management.  USDA funding for these projects is $551,850.

Another University of Missouri project will focus on application and procedures for reducing phosphorus loss across a range of soil, topographic, climatic, crop or management conditions.  USDA funding for this project is $531,622.

The project submitted by Southeast Missouri State University is an evaluation of soils having a subsurface controlled drainage system to reduce nitrate effluent discharges. The nitrate reductions are associated with drainage limited denitrification, cover crop uptake of residual nitrate and fertilized applications to minimize nitrate leaching.  USDA funding for this project will be $18,000.

“Missouri landowners, farmers and ranchers will benefit greatly from the studies being conducted by the University of Missouri, Southeast Missouri State University, Kansas State University and the University of Arkansas,” Flores said.  “CIG funding gives us a better understanding of the prime conservation-minded opportunities available to landowners across the state and will improve on our current understanding of conservation techniques."

Forty-seven states were awarded 59 grants totaling $26 million.  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. 


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