WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2020 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is awarding $25 million in grants designed to help partners implement and evaluate innovative conservation practices that have demonstrated benefits on farmland.
The funding is provided through On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials (On-Farm Trials), a component of the Conservation Innovation Grants program first authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill.
“On-Farm Trials help producers improve the health of their operations while at the same time helping NRCS build data to show the benefit of innovative conservation systems and practices applied on the land,” said Arkansas NRCS State Conservationist Mike Sullivan.
Arkansas is part of a project from North Carolina State University that adds new row crop farms to an existing network of producers in an online co-learning environment integrating technology, real-time data flow, and decision support tools to promote the use of soil health management principles including carbon storage, nitrogen cycling, and water infiltration and storage.
On-Farm Trials awardees work with NRCS and farmers and ranchers to implement innovative practices and systems on their lands that have not yet been widely adopted by producers. Awardees are required to evaluate the conservation and economic outcomes from these practices and systems, giving partners, producers and NRCS critical information to inform conservation work in the future.
Fourteen projects are receiving On-Farm Trials awards, including six awards under the banner of the Soil Health Demonstration Trial. These six projects focus on the adoption and evaluation of soil health management systems and practices. The remaining projects focus on irrigation water management, precision agriculture and a variety of management technologies.
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