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Conservation Innovation Grants

Caribbean Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)- A roller-crimper terminates sunflower cover crop in St. Croix, USVI.National Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) accepted proposals until June 29, 2020, for national Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). CIG projects inspire creative problem-solving solutions that boost production on farms, ranches and private forests and improve natural resources.

This year’s priorities were water reuse, water quality, air quality, energy and wildlife habitat.

CIG is a competitive grants program that supports development, testing and research of conservation technologies, practices, systems and approaches on private lands. Grantees must match the CIG investment at least one to one.

All U.S.-based non-Federal entities and individuals were eligible to apply. Complete funding announcement information was available on the national Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) webpage.

2020 National On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trial & Soil Health Demonstration Grants

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service accepted proposals until May 29, 2020 for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials (On-Farm Trials). On-Farm Trials, part of the agency’s Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program, help support the adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural land.

Newly authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill, On-Farm 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 Demo 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. Learn more about On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials.

2020 Caribbean Area CIG On-Farm Trials Awardees - NEW!

Two of this years' 14 awarded On-Farm Trials projects involve projects in Puerto Rico:

  • $1,983,479 to the University of Hawaii for Soil Health Demonstration Trials in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and American Samoa. The University of Hawaii will establish a network of on-farm Soil Health Management Systems demonstrations that are individually tailored, regionally adapted, and managed by farmers, in collaboration with participating farms in Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and three Hawaiian islands.  The project emphasizes engagement with historically underserved Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic farmers and restorative efforts on degraded or abandoned agricultural lands in rural communities.
  • $995,991 to Ridge to Reefs, Inc. for Management Technologies and Strategies in Puerto Rico. This project brings together a coalition of organizations representing academia, public, private, and non-governmental sectors in Puerto Rico to help farmers implement improved Regenerative Production Systems consisting of a suite of Enhanced Management Practices. Both small- to medium- scale farms will implement practices focused on their specific resource concerns and production goals.

Learn about this innovative program and the awarded projects.

2019 Caribbean Area CIG Announcement of Program Funding (APF)

In March 2019, Caribbean Area NRCS announced the availability of up to $300,000 in FY 2019 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) funding for the Caribbean Area to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Applications were accepted for projects in the Caribbean Area: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands only. Applications were requested from eligible government agencies, non-governmental organizations or individuals. CIG funds single and multi-year projects, not to exceed 3 years (anticipated project start date of September 30, 2019). Funds are awarded through a competitive process; the maximum award amount for any project could not exceed $75,000 in FY 2019. The grant proposal submission deadline was May 31, 2019.

The complete 2019 Caribbean Area CIG Request for Applications was posted on, opportunity number USDA-NRCS-PR-CIG-19-GEN0010086. Electronic applications must be sent through Additional information was provided in our CIG Applicant Information Conference Call held from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. April 26, 2019. Please visit the 2019 Caribbean Area CIG page for more details.

2019 Caribbean Area CIG Awardees

In September 2019, Caribbean Area NRCS awarded $238,515 in FY 2019 State Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) to 2 projects in Puerto Rico to develop and demonstrate cutting‐edge conservation in the Caribbean Area. The grants are funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

Field with Sunn Hemp (Crotolaria juncea) cover crop in flower.The 2019 Caribbean Area CIG awardees are:

  • Joaquin Chong for the project, "Validate the use of walk-behind tractor technology at varied terrain slopes, to validate the use of a rotary plow to establish an underground waterline to provide crop irrigation" ($43,980.00).
  • Diego Piñeiro for the project, "To validate, demonstrate and educate underserved, limited resources land users in easy to establish and environmentally friendly techniques for soil erosion control and bioengineering practices in steeplands" ($50,000.00).

Previous Years' CIG Awardees

For More Information

Plantains with a Canavalia ensiformis cover crop.