The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) is currently accepting concept proposals for the 2016 grant cycle. FREP’s competitive grant program funds research that advances the agronomic and environmental performance of fertilizing materials.
The 2016 Request for Proposals (RFP) includes several initiatives put forth by the department to help effectively manage nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture. New this year is a call to address barriers to adoption of effective management practices, including cost and benefit, economic thresholds, incentives, and diffusion of innovation studies. Also new to the FREP research priorities is the quantification of nitrate movement in deep soil as related to management practices, and the role of soil organic matter and organic fertilizing materials in nutrient management. Additionally, FREP seeks concepts and proposals to provide strong training, education, and outreach opportunities on efficiently managing irrigation systems and fertilizing materials.
Proposals for research projects are requested to fill gaps in nitrogen management information for specific crops, including corn, pima cotton, processing tomatoes, baby lettuce, walnuts, citrus, and deep rooted vegetables such as carrots. Other priority research areas are developing or promoting practices that optimize water and/or nutrient efficiency; evaluating strategies and potential technologies to increase crop nitrogen use efficiency; development of integrated decision support tools; and research on reducing nitrous oxide emissions associated with the use of nitrogen fertilizers.
Applicants are invited to submit two-page concept proposals to FREP by Friday, January 29, 2016. Concepts submitted should be in line with at least one of the program’s identified priority research areas. Further information on the 2016 FREP request for concept proposals, including timelines, application criteria, priority research areas, and examples of successful proposals are available at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/ffldrs/frep/CompetitiveGrantProgram.html
All concept proposals will be reviewed by FREP’s Technical Advisory Subcommittee (TASC). Concept proposals that are selected by the TASC will be invited for development into full project proposals. Applicants may also send e-mail inquiries to FREP@cdfa.ca.gov
Since 1990, the Fertilizer Research and Education Program has funded more than 200 research projects focusing on California’s important and environmentally sensitive cropping systems. A database of completed and ongoing research is publically available at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/FREPresearch
In collaboration with the University of California Davis, FREP has developed fertilization guidelines for major crops grown in California. The guidelines are regularly expanded and updated and are available to growers and crop advisors through on the CDFA website: www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/FREPguide