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USDA to invest $3 million to soil research projectsUSDA to invest $3 million to soil research projects

Grant applications accepted through July 22

Joshua Baethge

June 8, 2023

1 Min Read
farmer examining soil
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USDA announced plans to invest $3 million in partnerships to inform and improve regional soil surveys and support cooperative soil science. Officials with the agency say it is part of USDA’s ongoing efforts to provide better data.

“For more than 120 years, scientists have been conducting soil surveys, investigations and research,” National Resources Conservation Service Chief Terry Cosby says. “We are mandated to keep soil information relevant and available in useful forms to assist our customers—from community planners, to engineers, to farmers and ranchers—so they can make the most informed land use decisions. Collaboration is key as we continue to move the needle on advancing soil surveys.”     

The grant program is open to institutions of higher education in the Cooperatives Ecosystems Studies Unit. USDA will fund at least one project in each National Cooperative Soil Survey region. To be considered, projects must fill gaps in soil survey knowledge and have a regional application. Projects may last up to three years and have a total cost of between $50,000 and $500,000. Extra consideration will be given to proposals that include Dynamic Soil Survey Research Support. Proposals will be accepted through July 22.

Priorities for this latest grant program were developed based on multiple meetings and feedback received from last year’s regionals NCSS conferences. Proposals will be expected address issues such has urban soils, ecosystem services, wetlands and hydric soils, climate, wildfires and soil biodiversity. They should also enhance collaborative efforts between soil survey staff and cooperative research project.

About the Author(s)

Joshua Baethge

Policy editor, Farm Progress

Joshua Baethge covers a wide range of government issues affecting agriculture. Before joining Farm Progress, he spent 10 years as a news and feature reporter in Texas. During that time, he covered multiple state and local government entities, while also writing about real estate, nightlife, culture and whatever else was the news of the day.

Baethge earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts, discovering new restaurants, finding excuses to be outside and traveling as much as possible. He is based in the Dallas area where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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