Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) are competitive grants that stimulate the development and adoption of innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on agricultural lands. CIG uses Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or nongovernmental organizations, American Indian Tribes, or individuals. Producers involved in CIG funded projects must be EQIP eligible.
Through CIG, NRCS partners with public and private entities to accelerate technology transfer and adopt promising technologies. These new technologies and approaches address some of the Nation's most pressing natural resources concerns. CIG benefits agricultural producers by providing more options for environmental enhancement and compliance with Federal, State, and local regulations.
2020 Michigan CIG Recipients
National-Level Awards - Energy Conservation
Rid-All Foundation, Inc. NRCS Award: $888,413 Equity-based regenerative agriculture through carbon capture and utilization technology: The Community Carboneers Collaborative States: Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio The Rid-All Foundation will improve the resiliency of agricultural producers in historically underserved communities in urban and remote rural areas by increasing energy independence and developing soil conditioning byproducts to support cropping systems and aquaculture operations. The project will pilot bioenergy/biochar systems at four locations throughout the US by working with a consortium of organizations already engaged in community agricultural sustainability development.
National-Level Awards - Water Quality
Michigan State University NRCS Award: $614,347 Accelerating the adoption of saturated buffers using an educational decision-support tool States: Michigan, Iowa Michigan State University will develop an educational decision-support tool for accelerating the adoption of saturated buffers by increasing knowledge of the value of this practice. This tool will inform farm-level siting and optimize the design of saturated buffers for efficient nitrate removal from subsurface drainage water.
Award: Michigan State University Award : $426,209 States: Michigan, Indiana Project Description: Michigan State University will work with producers to field-test a low-cost remote sensor monitoring system in corn, soybean, and small vegetable production plots. MSU will assess adoption through surveys conducted in collaboration with partners Michigan Farm Bureau and Michiana Irrigation Association.
Priority Area: Management Technologies and Strategies
Awardee : Michigan State University Award: $2,571,064 States: Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Texas, Virginia, Missouri Project Description: In collaboration with corn, soybean, wheat, and cotton producers, MSU aims to reduce N fertilizer losses from agricultural fields by implementing two interconnected strategies: site-specific, data-driven, variable-rate N fertilizer application rates, and replacement of unprofitable and/or unresponsive areas with restored native vegetation.