Restricted Research - Award List, Note/Discussion Page

Fiscal Year: 2021

312  The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley  (84608)

Principal Investigator: Racelis, Alexis

Total Amount of Contract, Award, or Gift (Annual before 2011): $ 1,899,545

Exceeds $250,000 (Is it flagged?): Yes

Start and End Dates: 5/6/21 - 4/14/25

Restricted Research: YES

Academic Discipline: N/A

Department, Center, School, or Institute: Sustainble Agr & Rural Advncmt

Title of Contract, Award, or Gift: Subtropical Soil Health Demonstration: On-Farm Trials of Cover Crops for Conservation Innovation in arid farms of south Texas

Name of Granting or Contracting Agency/Entity: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Program Title: Notice of Funding Opportunity for NRCS_s Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials (On-Farm Tri-als) for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2020
CFDA Linked: Environmental Quality Incentives Program


This project focuses on cover crop implementation across an underserved region of the country that appears to have little adoption of cover cropping but could benefit significantly from innovative cover cropping and other soil health practices. Cover crops improve soil health by addressing all four soil management principles, as they (1) minimize disturbance, (2) maximize soil cover, 3) maximize biodiversity across time and space, and 4) maximize presence of living roots during farm fallow periods. This revised proposal addresses the two major concerns from last year’s panel review. First, reviewers were concerned that “the acreage is large and may be difficult to manage for the purposes of the Soil Health Demonstration Trial.” In response to this, we have reduced the trial area to half of the original trial acreage proposed, while maintaining one of the strengths of our program with a simple yet effective research design of farm-scale, side-by-side trial comparisons. A second concern from the panelists was that there was “not enough detail on socioeconomic data being collected [and there was] no mention of a person assigned to do economic analysis. To address this deficiency, we have added an agricultural and resource economist (Dr. Liu) to our project team who will help analyze the long term implementation of cover crops and improved/reduced tillage practices as the foundation of natural resources conservation and farm profit in arid farm systems of southern Texas. This effort is amplified through effective strategies for local and national dissemination of findings, and targeted recruitment of eligible and historically underserved producers across the region. SAMs 1.1.1

Discussion: No discussion notes


Close Window