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Conservation Innovation Grants

Conservation Innovative Grants (CIG) is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. Under CIG, Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds are used to awards competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or non-governmental organizations, Tribes, or individuals.

CIG enables NRCS to work with other public and private entities to accelerate technology transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches to address some of South Dakota’s most pressing natural resource concerns. The CIG will benefit agricultural producers by providing more options for environmental enhancement and compliance with federal, State, and local regulations. South Dakota NRCS administers the state CIG.

South Dakota CIG

The NRCS serving South Dakota has awarded two new state level proposals for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). NRCS SD designated $150,000 for FY2016 state level proposals with each proposal limited to a $75,000 maximum.

A description of both projects is provided below:

South Dakota State University ($75,000) - Demonstrating the impacts of crop diversification on soil health and farm profitability in South Dakota – This project will a) Demonstrate the impacts of diverse crop rotations with and without cover crops on soil health, and compare with that of corn-soybean rotation, b) Assess the economic benefits from diverse crop rotations, and compare that with the corn-soybean rotation system, and c) Demonstrate to producers the diverse crop rotation and their impacts on soil microbial community, soil health parameters, crop yield, and economic returns.

Ducks Unlimited, Inc. ($75,000), Evaluating Cover Crops as Potential Nesting Habitat on Working Lands – This project will a) Determine relative abundance of birds nesting in fields planted with supplemental cover crops, b) Measure nest-hatch success rates for nests initiated in cover crop fields, and c) Ensure that cover crop practices and nest searching protocols do not damage developing crops or potential yields.

NRCS SD is anticipating that there will be a new request for state proposals in the spring of 2017. Learn more at the national CIG Webpage or for South Dakota CIG, please visit


State Program Manager
Jay Cobb, CIG Program Manager, USDA NRCS South Dakota, 200 Fourth Street SW, Huron, SD  57350
Phone: 605-352-1260 | Email:

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Word.

Application for Federal Assistance - Standard Form 424 (PDF; 93 KB)
Budget Information - Standard Form 424C (PDF; 119 KB)
DUNS Number Application Information

National CIG

National CIG Page

National CIG Fact Sheet