Skip Navigation

CIG On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials

CIG On Farm Trials

Authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill, On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials support more widespread adoption of innovative approaches, practices and systems on working lands. On-Farm Trials projects feature collaboration between NRCS and partners to implement on-the-ground conservation activities and then evaluate their impact. Incentive payments are provided to producers to offset the risk of implementing innovative approaches.

The Soil Health Demonstration Trial (SHD) component of On-Farm Trials focuses exclusively on implementation of conservation practices and systems that improve soil health. Eligible entities receiving SHD awards agree to follow consistent soil health assessment protocols to evaluate the impacts of practice and system implementation. The NRCS Soil Health Technical Note on Recommended Soil Health Indicators and Associated Laboratory Procedures provides applicants with an idea of the types of soil health indicators and assessments they will be expected to use for SHD projects. SHD projects must include a robust evaluation of the environmental and financial effects of implementing soil health management systems and practices including collecting and following, at a minimum the standard SHD dataset requirements and methods (PDF).

Up to $25 million annually is available for On-Farm Trials. Funding goes directly to partners, which in turn provide technical assistance and incentive payments to producers to implement innovative approaches on their lands. Producers receiving On-Farm Trials payments must be eligible to participate in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The maximum On-Farm Trials award for 2020 is $5 million. The minimum award is $250,000.

Who Is Eligible

On-Farm Trials are open to private entities whose primary business is related to agriculture, non-governmental organizations with experience working with agricultural producers, and non-Federal government agencies.

More Information

SHD Min Data Set Requirements (PDF)

SHD Field Operations Template (XLS)

SHD Field Operations Template Instructions (PDF)

SHD Soils Template (XLS)

Back to Conservation Innovation Grants website

A webinar for On-Farm Trials applicants was presented on May 13, 2021. at 3 p.m. Eastern. Please find the webinar recording and a copy of the presentation slides below.

OFT Applicant Webinar Slides (PDF,832KB)

OFT NFO Questions and Answers (PDF, 261KB)


Program Contact