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News Release

The Kansas Conservation Innovation Grant Award Winners for 2017

Monty R Breneman Assistant State Conservationist – Programs
785-823-4569 Office

CIG graphic showing PIVIT irrigation.

USDA NRCS Provides Matching Seed Money for Conservation Innovators

SALINA, Kansas–June 21, 2017– The Kansas Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces the award winners for the state Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program.  The winners of the national competition were announced by USDA on June 8, 2017. 

In-state applicants competed for $200,000 from Kansas NRCS.  At the national level, USDA NRCS awarded more than $22.6 million to 33 projects.  There are four award winners at the state level and one winner from Kansas at the national level. 

“There’s a strong partnering with producers with all these projects,” said Eric Banks, Kansas State Conservationist.   “Successful CIG applicants will work directly with farmers and ranchers to conduct field demonstrations of their proposed technology.  Outreach will be used to promote adoption and technology transfer in the agricultural community.  Producers are then able to immediately benefit and apply newly discovered technologies in their operations.” 

Here is the list of all the 2017 CIG winners from Kansas, showing the project lead, the project title, NRCS funding level, synopsis of the project, and organizations that provided matching contributions. 

Playa Lakes Joint Venture 
Kansas Dynamic Surface Water Application, $50,000 
The project will analyze satellite imagery and make the results available in an easy-to-use Web map format that helps producers make decisions about conservation options. The purpose of this project is to develop an easy-to-use Web map that maps current and historic surface water across Kansas. By making this information directly available to producers and conservation planners, this project will enable them to more effectively manage their operations and evaluate conservation opportunities. 
Matching organizations: Playa Lake Joint Ventures, Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams, Inc., Ducks Unlimited, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism 

Kansas State University 
Improving Soil Health & Profitability with Cover Crops and Precision Conservation, $49,990
The overarching goal of our research is to improve the long-term productive, environmental, and economic output of crop and animal production systems on clay pan soils of eastern and southeastern Kansas. Precision management methods offer producers the potential to improve profitability by identifying low income areas within fields and implement site specific management to reduce input costs and improve net return. 
Matching organizations: Kansas State University, The Nature Conservancy 

Kansas State University 
Restoring Grazing Land Hydrologic Services Through Eastern Redcedar, $49,281
Water management technologies and approaches to maximize agricultural production efficiency and minimize offsite impacts. The goals are: (1) understand rancher perceptions of, and experience with, grassland hydrologic benefits and how it influences management decisions, (2) demonstrate and quantify hydrologic benefits associated with redcedar removal and rangeland restoration, and (3) engage ranchers and other stakeholders to understand the benefits of redcedar control. 
Matching organizations: Kansas State University 

Kansas State University 
Cover Crops to Increase Water Infiltration in Dryland & Irrigated Systems in Western Kansas, $49,933
The project will demonstrate and quantify impacts of soil health promoting practices (cover crops) on improving soil moisture, water infiltration, and soil water storage coupled with analysis of resulting impacts of cover crops on yield, yield variability, and economics of crop production across a range of soils, cropping systems, and weather conditions in western Kansas. 
Matching organizations: Kansas State University 

Kansas State University (national winner) 
Using Farmer-Based Water Technology Farms to Implement New Irrigation Technologies to Sustain the Rural Economy, $672,982
Irrigation water management is a critical issue in the Great Plains region—many parts of the High Plains aquifer are being rapidly depleted. Kansas State University proposes to demonstrate and streamline the ability of an agricultural producer to transition from a center pivot irrigation system to a more efficient mobile drip irrigation system. Increasing adoption of mobile drip irrigation systems would reduce historic water use and improve 
water productivity on farms while maintaining profitability of farming operations. 
Matching organizations: Kansas State University 

CIG is a component of the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP).  Grantees must work with producers and forestland owners who are eligible for EQIP to stimulate the development and adoption of  innovative conservation approaches and technologies related to agricultural production.
To see an interactive story map of the national CIG award winners, CLICK HERE.  The USDA NRCS press release link: 

To view the list of the Kansas CIG projects and a short synopsis of the projects, go to the Kansas NRCS Web site assistance/conservation innovation grants.  

To find a service center near you, check on the Internet at  
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The Kansas Conservation Innovation Grant Award Winners for 2017 (175k pdf)

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