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News Release

2019 CIG - Application Deadline May 28, 2019

NRCS Contact:
Alicia Rodriguez (505) 761-4421

March 28, 2019

New Mexico New Mexico Announces Funding for Conservation Innovation Grants   

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in New Mexico is accepting applications for Conservation Innovations Grants (CIG) to fund innovative ideas for conservation strategies and technologies. NRCS uses CIG to accelerate the transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches that address some of the state’s most pressing natural resource concerns. New Mexico NRCS will provide up to $75,000 in CIG funding for fiscal year 2019. Grant proposals must be submitted through by May 28, 2019. The funding opportunity number in is USDA-NRCS-NM-CIG-19-01-GEN0010085. 

In 2018 NRCS provided $49,000 to New Mexico State University to demonstrate the innovative use of grass buffer strips along with cover crops and diversified crop rotation to improve soil health, reduce soil erosion and conserve irrigation water. The project addresses the critical need of reducing demands on the declining Ogallala Aquifer and provides farmers with practical steps to maintain agricultural production with less irrigation water.  

The 2018 CIG project includes demonstration sites at the NMSU Agricultural Science Center (ASC) at Clovis and also at private farms near Clovis. The cooperating farmers are concerned about the decline in the water table level and are optimistic that farming methods that improve soil health will allow them to continue farming at profitable levels while also benefitting the environment and increasing biodiversity. The participation of eligible agricultural producers is required for CIG and ensures that projects focus on solutions that farmers and ranchers can adopt.  

Photo of Graduate student Vesh Thapa and NMSU-ASC farm staff Landon O'Rear collecting soil samples for soil health testing.






Graduate student Vesh Thapa and NMSU-ASC farm staff Landon O’Rear collecting soil samples for soil health testing. Photo courtesy of NMSU.

For 2019 NRCS is focusing funding in these areas:

  • Increased reliance on natural biodiversity to control pests.
  • Soil health management system (SHMS) - collection NRCS conservation practices that focus on maintaining or enhancing soil health by addressing all four soil health planning principles:  Minimize disturbance, maximize soil cover, maximize biodiversity and maximize presence of living roots.
  • Water conservation
  • ​Fish and wildlife habitat

Potential applicants can review the Notice of Funding (NOF) at the New Mexico NRCS CIG webpage: at  The NOF describes the application materials and submission procedures.  All U.S. based entities and individuals are invited to apply, with the sole exception of Federal agencies. 
CIG is authorized and funded under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  Projects that are eligible for EQIP funding through the state EQIP sign-up are not eligible for CIG funding. CIG projects can last up to three years.  

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