The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Little Rock has announced the winning proposal funded for 2021 Arkansas Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG).

“Conservation Innovation Grants invest in innovative, on-the-ground conservation technologies and approaches, with the eventual goal of wide-scale NRCS adoption to address water quality and quantity, air quality, energy conservation, and environmental markets, among other natural resource issues,” Mike Sullivan, Arkansas NRCS state conservationist, said. “We are excited to announce the approval of one Conservation Innovation Grant.”

The entity receiving the state-level grant is Ecosystems Protective Services, LLC; “The Field Set-Aside Pilot Project.” The project will pilot three new practices that lead directly to a new incentive program. This new incentive program will encourage producers to set-aside fields and flood them, plant cover crops such as millet (provides quality foraging for waterfowl), and during the growing season or post-harvest of crops.

NRCS administers CIGs as part of the agency’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Grants are awarded to state and local governments, federally-recognized Indian tribes, non-governmental organizations and individuals.

Grant awardees must provide non-federal matching funds for at least 50 percent of the project cost. Of the non-federal matching funds, a minimum of 25 percent must be from cash contributions, the remaining 25 percent may come from in-kind contributions.

To locate a local field office, visit https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/ar/ contact/local.

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