Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)

 

To establish a competitive grants program to provide funding for fundamental and applied research, extension, and education to address food and agricultural sciences.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
10.310
Federal Agency/Office
National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 For FY 2016: (A) AFRI: Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change Challenge Area: For FY 2016 the Program anticipates making $8 million in new awards in the following areas: (1) Climate and Land Use and (2) Climate Master Outreach and Extension. It is anticipated that $4 million will be provided to fund continuation awards made between 2012 and 2013. It is estimated that two awards will be made under priority area one and four under priority area two. (B) AFRI: Food Security: For FY 2016: The Food Security Challenge Area is funded at $16.8 million to support agricultural production research, education, and extension to develop more sustainable, productive, and economically viable plant and animal production systems. In FY 2016 the AFRI Food Security Challenge Area will invest in two priority areas: (1) New Frontiers in Pollinator Health: From Research to Applications; and (2) Breeding and Phenomics of Food Crops and Animals. The request for applications was published with a closing date of July 7, 2016. A total of 57 applications (35 for pollinator and 22 for breeding) were received and are currently going through the peer panel review process. It is anticipated there will be 9 awards made representing 16% success rate. Continuation awards will also be made for projects awarded as continuation awards in earlier years. (C ) AFRI: Food Safety Challenge Area: In FY 2016, the Challenge area anticipates making $6 million available for new awards, and $2,249,876 for continuation awards. Applications for the FY 2016 are due by August 3, 2016, and the Request for Applications is available on the agency’s website. (D) AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: For FY 2016 it is anticipated that approximately 40 proposals will be reviewed and up to 4 new awards will be made totaling up to $12 million; 2 CAP continuation awards were also made for totaling $4 million under the Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP). It is also anticipated that 18 proposals will be reviewed and up to 3 awards will be made totaling $9 million under the Investing in America’s Scientific Corps: Preparing a New Generation of Students, Faculty, and Workforce for Emerging Challenges in Bioenergy, Bioproducts, and the Bioeconomy priority all under Sustainable Bioenergy Challenge Area. Under AFRI Foundational Program, there will be two Research-only priorities under Bioenergy, Natural Resource, and Environment (BNRE) Priority Area: (1) Cover Crops, and (2) Socioeconomic Implications and Public Policy Challenges. Estimated 30 proposals will be reviewed and up to 6 new awards will be made for each priority; with two priorities totaling approximately $6 million. (E) AFRI: Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI): ELI REEU Program: NIFA accepted 74 proposals for review. Approximately 16 award recommendations are anticipated. Anticipated success rate for the program is ~22%. Professional Development Opportunities for Secondary School Teachers and Education Professionals (PD-STEP): In FY 2016, as part of the ELI funding solicitation, a new opportunity titled, Professional Development Opportunities for Secondary School Teachers and Education Professionals (PD-STEP) is being offered. In FY 2016, for the ELI PD-STEP program, NIFA accepted 32 proposals for review. Approximately 6 award recommendations are anticipated. Anticipated success rate for the program is ~19%. Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships: NIFA received 260 proposals. Approximately 75 award recommendations are anticipated. Applications addressed the development of technical and functional competence for predoctoral students, and the research independence and teaching credentials of postdoctoral scientists in the agriculture, forestry, and food sciences that are within NIFA’s challenge and foundational program areas through well-developed and highly interactive mentoring and training activities. (F) AFRI: Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area: In FY 2016, NIFA anticipates $6.6 million will be available to support new awards. (G) AFRI: Foundational Program: For FY 2016 AFRI Foundational award cycle, approximately, $130,000,000 is available to fund new proposals submitted to the AFRI Foundational Program solicitation. Maximum award size is $500,000. Proposals were solicited for 28 individual programs under the AFRI Foundational Program Request for Applications. Currently, all the programs are receiving proposals. Therefore, complete data for the programs are not available at this time. (H) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (w/NSF, NIH, USDA and UK BBSRC): No Action Needed for FY 2016. (I) Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy: A Joint Research (USDA & DOE): No Action Needed for FY 2016. (J) AFRI: Water for Agriculture Challenge Area: It is anticipated that 80 applications will be received and up to 11 new awards will be granted in fiscal year (FY) 2016, totaling $10.7 million. Eight projects may be continued for a total continuation funding of $10 M. The priorities initiated in FY 2015 are continued in FY 2016: Pmilliionogram code (8101) focuses on watershed and regional scale projects that focus on the “right crop in the right place with the right water.” The goal of this program priority is to conserve water through the development of cost- effective, adoptable and sustainable practices and technologies for agricultural producers and processors. The second priority (8102) deals with understanding decisions and behaviors connected with agriculture and post-harvest processing industry water use. Finally, program priority three (8103) is a partnership with EPA regarding the understanding of human health impacts to exposure from nontraditional water used in agriculture. The Peer-review Panel will be held tentatively from November 14-18, 2016. No other data is available. (K) National Institute of Food and Agriculture International Wheat Yield Partnership Program: This program is new in FY 2016. The program has received 22 applications requesting $37,570,199. Currently, these applications are undergoing review. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date. The funded projects will support new technologies that improve cereal breeding, and discoveries that lead to significantly increase cereal production. (L) Carbon Cycle Science (InterAgency NASA/DOE): No solicitation in FY 2016. (M) Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (aka INFEWS): For FY 2016 the program anticipated making $5M in new awards in three areas: (1) FEW System Modeling; (2) Visualization and Decision Support for Cyber-Human-Physical Systems at the FEW Nexus; and (3) Research to Enable Innovative Solutions. This program is joint program with NSF. NSF will anticipates contributing $25M in new awards in the above three areas as well as 4) FEW Education and Workforce Development. All proposals were received by NSF and evaluated by joint panel. For priority 1, 100 applications were received and 5 will be funded by both agencies; for priority 2, 35 applications were received and 2 will be funded by both agencies; 150 applications were received and 6 will be funded by both agencies; and 19 applications were received and 2 will be funded by both agencies, one from each the separate tracks. (N) Agricultural Greenhouse Gases: No further action is required. NIFA decided not to participate in the European Research Area Net (ERA-NET) Solicitation as instructed by the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture. (O) National Robotics Initiative: The National Science Foundation received 458 proposals (342 individual projects) that requested approximately $322 million. NIFA awarded five projects totaling $4.75 million over 3 years. (P) NSF Cyber-Physical Systems: More than 650 NSF-compliant applications were received by this inter-agency program in FY 2016. From those applications that are relevant to the NIFA priorities for the program. NIFA anticipates making 4-8 awards. (Q) Plant Biotic Interactions (PBI) Program: $ 6 million will be available for awards from NIFA. Since this program is offered in partnership with NSF, NSF will provide an additional $8.5 million but not all of that amount will be available for new awards. 251 applications will be reviewed. No awards have been made yet but it is anticipated that NIFA will make approximately 10 awards. The following represents accomplishments for active Programs: (A) AFRI: Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 the AFRI Climate Change Challenge Area invested in the following priority areas: (1) Climate and Land Use and (2) Climate Masters The Climate Change Challenge Area was funded at $13.9 million to support agricultural production research, education, and extension to how the mosaic of land use types affect and are affected by climate variability and change through integrated projects that focus on sustainable intensive agricultural systems, including crop, livestock, and forestry production.. The due date for the Climate Master’s program was September 14, 2016. A total of 10 application were received and subjected to the peer panel review process. Four (4) awards made, representing a 40% success rate. The request for applications was published with a closing date of Nov 16, 2016 for the Climate and Land Use area. A total of 30 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. Five (5) awards made, representing a 17% success rate. Funding was also provided for prior years’ Continuation awards. (C ) AFRI: Food Safety In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 the Antimicrobial Resistance program in the Food Safety Challenge Area mad awards totaling about $4.8 million. The program received 44 proposals and funded a total of five (5) grant projects. Funded projects included four (4) Standard Research grants at $4,799,994.00 and one (1) Conference grant at $50,000. (D) AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy For Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, two (2) New continuation awards were made under the Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP) program. Three (3) new awards were made totaling $9 million under the Investing in America’s Scientific Corps: Preparing a New Generation of Students, Faculty, and Workforce for Emerging Challenges in Bioenergy, Bioproducts, and the Bioeconomy priority all under Sustainable Bioenergy Challenge Area. (E) AFRI: Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI) NOTE: Formerly AFRI Fellowships • ELI Research and Extension Experiential Learning for Undergraduates (REEU) Program: NIFA accepted 75 proposals for review. 18 award recommendations were executed. The success rate for the program was ~24%. Applications addressed the goal of promoting research and extension experiential learning for undergraduates such that upon graduation they may enter the agriculture workforce with exceptional skills. • Professional Development Opportunities for Secondary School Teachers and Education Professionals (PD-STEP): NIFA accepted 31 proposals for review. 14 award recommendations were executed. The success rate for the program is ~44%. • Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships: NIFA received 260 proposals. 115 award recommendations were executed. The success rate for the program was ~40%. Applications addressed the development of technical and functional competence for predoctoral students, and the research independence and teaching credentials of postdoctoral scientists in the agriculture, forestry, and food sciences that are within NIFA’s challenge and foundational program areas through well-developed and highly interactive mentoring and training activities. (F) AFRI: Childhood Obesity Prevention: For the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 award cycle, approximately $6.6 million was available for project grant awards. Fifty-one applications requesting a total of $157,552,541 were received in this year’s competition. In November 2016, a 15-member peer review panel evaluated these applications. The peer panel includes faculty from 1862 land grant universities, Minority Serving Institutions, private universities, USDA-EPSCoR states, and small and mid-sized universities. Funds were available to support research, education and extension efforts for four (4) standard awards, two (2) conference award and two (2) strengthening awards that addressed the childhood obesity prevention program. The funding ratio for this program for FY 2016 was 13%. (G) AFRI: Foundational Program: In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, AFRI Foundational Program invested $130 million to support biological research, education and extension programs. The request for applications were published under 28 program area priorities: 1) Foundational Knowledge of Agricultural Production - The closing date for applications was August 17, 2016. A total of 48 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. Ten (10) awards were made, representing a 21% success rate. 2) Pests and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems - The closing date for applications was July 21, 2016. A total of 152 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 21 awards were made, representing a 14% success rate. 3) Physiology of Agricultural Plants – The closing date for applications was August 11, 2016. A total of 150 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 25 awards were made, representing a 17% success rate. 4) Plant Breeding for Agricultural Production - The closing date for applications was July 28, 2016. A total of 72 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 19 awards were made, representing a 26% success rate. 5) Animal Reproduction - The closing date for applications was July 14, 2016. A total of 62 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 16 awards were made, representing a 26% success rate. 6) Animal Nutrition, Growth and Lactation - The closing date for applications was July 14, 2016. A total of 92 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 17 awards were made, representing an 18% success rate. 7) Animal Well-Being - The closing date for applications was July 14, 2016. A total of 19 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 2awards were made, representing an 11% success rate. 8) Animal Health and Disease - The closing date for applications was July 14, 2016. A total of 155 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 33 awards were made, representing a 21% success rate. 9) Tools and Resources – Animal Breeding, Genetics and Genomics - The closing date for applications was August 3, 2016. A total of 28 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 7 awards were made, representing a 25% success rate. 10) Tools and Resources – Immune Reagents for Agricultural Animals- The closing date for applications was July 14, 2016. A total of 2 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. One (1) award was made, representing a 50% success rate. 11) Improving Food Safety - The closing date for applications was August 10, 2016. A total of 119 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 22 awards were made, representing an 18% success rate. 12) Improving Food Quality - The closing date for applications was July 14, 2016. A total of 94 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 17 awards were made, representing an 18% success rate. 13) Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance - The closing date for applications was August 17, 2016. A total of 30 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. Two (2) awards were made, representing a 7% success rate. 14) Function and Efficacy of Nutrients - The closing date for applications was July 14, 2016. A total of 87 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 14 awards were made, representing a 16% success rate. 15) Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycling - The closing date for applications was July 21, 2016. A total of 51 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 13 awards were made, representing a 25% success rate. 16) Agroecosystem Management - The closing date for applications was July 21, 2016. A total of 57 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 12 awards were made, representing a 21% success rate. 17) Cover Crops for Bioenergy and Biobased Products - The closing date for applications was July 21, 2016. A total of 10 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. Five (5) awards were made, representing a 50% success rate. 18) Socioeconomic Implications and Public Policy Challenges of Bioenergy and Bioproducts Market Development and Expansion - The closing date for applications was July 21, 2016. A total of 22 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. Five (5) awards were made, representing a 23% success rate. 19) Agricultural Engineering - The closing date for applications was July 13, 2016. A total of 53 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. Nine (9) awards were made, representing a 17% success rate. 20) Bioprocessing and Bioengineering - The closing date for applications was July 13, 2016. A total of 71 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. Eight (8) awards were made, representing 11% success rate. 21) Nanotechnology for Agricultural and Food Systems - The closing date for applications was July 13, 2016. A total of 88 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 14 awards were made, representing a 16% success rate. 22) Economics, Markets and Trade - The closing date for applications was August 11, 2016. A total of 48 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 13 awards were made, representing a 27% success rate. 23) Environmental and Natural Resources Economics - The closing date for applications was August 18, 2016. A total of 38 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. Ten (10) awards were made, representing a 26% success rate. 24) Behavioral and Experimental Economic Applications for Agri-Environmental Policy Design - The closing date for applications was July 14, 2016. A total of 3 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 2 awards were made, representing a 67% success rate. 25) Small and Medium-sized Farms - The closing date for applications was August 25, 2016. A total of 32 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. Ten (10) awards were made, representing a 31% success rate. 26) Innovation for Rural Entrepreneurs and Communities - The closing date for applications was August 31, 2016. A total of 52 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 16 awards were made, representing a 31% success rate. 27) Critical Agricultural Research and Extension - The closing date for applications was July 14, 2016. A total of 35 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 17 awards were made, representing a 49% success rate. 28) Exploratory Research – There is no closing date for Letter of Intent and the closing date for applications are 60 days after the encouragement to submit the full application based on the assessment of Letter of Intent. A total of 68 applications were received and were subjected to the peer panel review process. 12 awards were made, representing an 18% success rate. (I) Joint Plant Feedstock: Within this interagency program NIFA recommended and funded to awards totaling $2 million in FY 2016. (J) AFRI: Water (for Agriculture): The AFRI: Water for Food Production Systems (WFPS) represents a newly funded program, which did not exist in FY 2016. (M) Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): During Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 the program made $5 million in new awards two (2) areas: (1) Food, Energy, and Water System (FEW) Modeling; and (2) Visualization and Decision Support for Cyber-Human-Physical Systems at the FEW Nexus. NIFA fully funded two (2) awards. This program is joint program with the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF fully funded 17 awards, contributing $35 million in new awards in the above three (3) areas as well as four (4) FEW Education and Workforce Development. All proposals were received by NSF and evaluated by joint panel. For priority 1, 100 applications were received, two (2) were jointly funded by both agencies and four (4) were funded by NSF. For priority 2, 35 applications were received; one (1) was funded by NIFA and two (2) by NSF. The following Programs are no longer funded: hence, no action is required: (B) AFRI: Food Security (L) International Wheat Yield Partnership
Fiscal Year 2017 For Fiscal Year 2017 the Appropriations amount for the Agriculture & Food Research Initiative Grants Program (AFRI) was $375, 000,000. The amount available for awards was $342,971,061 after legislatively mandated set-asides. Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 – ACTIVE Programs: (C ) AFRI: Food Safety: In FY 2017, the Antimicrobial Resistance program in the Food Safety Challenge area made awards totaling over $10 million. The program received 47 proposals and funded a total of ten (10) grant projects. Funded projects included nine (9) Standard Integrated and one (1) Standard Strengthening Integrated grants. (D) AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: Two (2) continuation awards were made under the Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP) program. Eleven (11) awards were made under the Bioenergy Lignin or Nano-cellulosic Co Products from Biomass Feedstocks and six (6) Biomass Feedstock Genetic Development and Evaluation program areas. (F) AFRI: Childhood Obesity Prevention: For the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 award cycle, approximately $8.6 million was available for project grant awards. Sixty-four applications requesting a total of $134,525,404 were received in this year’s competition. In September 2017, a 15-member peer review panel evaluated these applications. The peer panel includes faculty from 1862 land grant universities, Minority Serving Institutions, private universities, USDA-EPSCoR states, and small and mid-sized universities. Funds were available to support research, education and extension efforts for four (4) standard awards, one (1) conference award and one (1) strengthening awards that addressed the childhood obesity prevention program. The funding ratio for this program for FY 2017 was 7%. (G) AFRI: Foundational Program: For FY 2017 AFRI Foundational Program award cycle, a total budget of $169,000,500 was used to fund the new awards from the applications submitted to 28 individual programs under the AFRI Foundational Program solicitation. A total of 1949 applications were received and 616 awards were made in this year’s AFRI Foundational Program competition. (I) Joint Plant Feedstock: Within this interagency program NIFA recommended and funded to two (2) awards totaling $2 million ($1 million each). (J) AFRI: Water (for Agriculture): The AFRI Food Security and Water for Agriculture Challenge Areas were consolidated into a new Challenge Area, Water for Food Production Systems (WFPS), which sought approximately $34 million in FY 2017 to support projects that addressed current agricultural challenges to ensure sustainable production of safe and nutritious food. A total of 87 applications were received for a single priority: The WFPS RFA invited applications that employed systems approaches that lead to solutions for water challenges in U.S. agricultural production. These solutions must be feasible and simultaneously take into consideration a broad spectrum of kinds of agricultural producers, other competing industries, consumers and the communities where they live, and other relevant stakeholders. The impacts will be measured as appropriate changes needed by water users, consumers, and policy makers to improve resolution in conflicts over water supplies by reducing water use or increasing water use efficiency for the next several decades or more. NIFA’s customers considered the WFPS the fourth year of the Water for Agriculture Program as a broader challenge area to address critical water resources issues such as drought, excess soil moisture, flooding, quality and productivity for food production in an agricultural context. The program focused on developing solutions for water management that linked food, water, climate, energy, and environmental issues. Funding was used to develop management practices, technologies, and tools for farmers, ranchers, forest owners and managers, public decision-makers, public and private managers and citizens to improve food production while remaining true to conserving water resource quantity and quality. NIFA’s approach linked social, economic, and behavioral sciences with traditional biophysical sciences and engineering to address local to regional scale issues with shared hydrological and agricultural processes, and meteorological and basin characteristics. WFPS was restricted to Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP) awards only (up to $5.2 M per project over 5 years)—six CAPs, integrated across research and education or extension and one capacity (FASE) CAP grant integrated across research and extension were awarded to a set of U.S. four-year degree granting universities or colleges with a wide geographic distribution for a total of $34,922,500. Eleven CAP projects were continued from awards in 2014, 2015 and 2016 for a total of $13,333,128. A grand total for FY 2017 funding for Water for Agriculture and Water for Food Production Systems was $47,255,628. (M) Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): During Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 the program made $5 million in new awards under two (2) areas: (1) Food, Energy, and Water System (FEW) Modeling; and (2) Research to Enable Innovative System Solutions. This program is joint program with the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF fully funded 16 awards, contributing $36 million in new awards in the above two (2) areas as well as Visualization and Decision Support for Cyber-Human-Physical Systems at the FEW Nexus. All proposals were received by NSF and evaluated by joint panels. The NSF received roughly 375 proposals for the 20 awards funded between NSF and USDA NIFA. (N) AFRI - Education and Workforce Development: • Research and Extension Experiential Learning for Undergraduates (REEU) Program: NIFA accepted 75 proposals for review. 18 award recommendations were executed. The success rate for the program was ~24%. Applications addressed the goal of promoting research and extension experiential learning for undergraduates such that upon graduation they may enter the agriculture workforce with exceptional skills. • Professional Development Opportunities for Secondary School Teachers and Education Professionals (PD-STEP): NIFA accepted 38 proposals for review. 8 award recommendations were executed. The success rate for the program is ~21%. • Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships: NIFA received 222 proposals. 110 proposals were recommended for funding. Applications addressed the development of new scientists and professionals to enter research, education, and extension fields within the Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences, and focused upon at least one of the six Farm Bill priority areas. (O) AFRI - Sustainable Agricultural Systems: Not Applicable. This Program was not yet funded in FY 2017. (P) Comparative and Evolutionary Genomics Research for Accelerated Animal Breeding (Joint NIH Project): Not Applicable. This Program was not yet funded in FY 2017. (Q) Cyber-Physical System Program (Interagency Solicitation): This is a joint program with several agencies where National Science Foundation was the lead agency that received the applications. NIFA encourages projects that advance science and technology applied to Smart & Connected Communities (both rural and urban) and real-time agricultural data analytics and control. All applications for FY 2017 involved real-time agricultural data analytics and control. A total budget of $5,000,000 from NIFA was used to fund seven awards. Awards for FY 2017 were distributed between cropping systems and animal agriculture. (R) National Robotics Initiative: This is a joint program with several agencies where National Science Foundation was the lead agency that received the applications. NIFA encourages robotics research, applications, and education to enhance agricultural production, processing, and distribution systems that benefit consumers and rural communities. A total budget of $2,769,222 was used from NIFA to fund three applications submitted to this program. Awards for FY 2017 were equally distributed between cropping systems, animal agriculture, and aquaculture. (S) Joint NIFA/NSF Plant and Animal Microbiome – DCL: The Dear Colleague Letter: NSF-USDA-BBSRC Joint Funding Opportunity was developed. (T) NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program: For FY 2017, the available funding for awards in the NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program was $8,962,504. The listing below represents Programs which have not been recently funded. Hence, no further action is required (N/A/N) for the following Programs: (A) AFRI: Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change; (B) AFRI: Food Security; (E) AFRI: Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI); NOTE: Formerly known as AFRI Fellowships; and (L) International Wheat Yield Partnership.
Fiscal Year 2018 For Fiscal Year 2018 the Appropriations amount for the Agriculture & Food Research Initiative Grants Program (AFRI) was $400 million. The amount available for awards was $365,236,233 after legislatively mandated set-asides. Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 – ACTIVE Programs: (D) AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: For FY 2018, (2) continuation awards (from FY 2017 projects) were made under the Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP) program totaling $8,043,000. No new awards were funded under the Sustainable Bioenergy and Bioproducts (SBEBP) Challenge Area. (G) AFRI: Foundational and Applied Science Program: For FY 2018 AFRI Foundational and Applied Science (formerly known as AFRI Foundational Program) award cycle, $182 million is available to fund new applications submitted to the FY 2018 AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program solicitation. Applications were solicited for 35 individual programs. A total of 2,229 applications requesting $1,088,039,322 were received by the programs. A total of 438 awards have been finalized. A few more number of awards are being currently finalized. (I) Joint Plant Feedstock: Two (2) projects funded at $1 million each. (J) AFRI: Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area (WFPS): Fiscal Year (FY) 2018: The AFRI Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area (WFPS) acted as an interim program between the Water For Agriculture Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAPs) and standard grants through to the Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS), a broad, systems of systems focused program that focused on all agricultural systems, not just water or food production. In FY 2018 we completed the awards for WFPS spending approximately $34 million to support projects that addressed current agricultural challenges to ensure sustainable production of safe and nutritious food. A total of 87 applications were received for a single priority. The WFPS RFA invited applications that employed systems approaches that lead to solutions for water challenges in U.S. agricultural production. These solutions must be feasible and simultaneously take into consideration a broad spectrum of kinds of agricultural producers, other competing industries, consumers and the communities where they live, and other relevant stakeholders. FY 2018 was year 1 for all of the awarded projects. The impacts will continue to be measured as appropriate changes needed by water users, consumers, and policy makers to improve resolution in conflicts over water supplies by reducing water use or increasing water use efficiency for the next several decades or more. The awards focused on developing solutions for water management that linked food, water, climate, energy, and environmental issues. Funding was used to develop management practices, technologies, and tools for farmers, ranchers, forest owners and managers, public decision-makers, public and private managers and citizens to improve food production while remaining true to conserving water resource quantity and quality. The WFPS approach linked social, economic, and behavioral sciences with traditional biophysical sciences and engineering to address local to regional scale issues with shared hydrological and agricultural processes, and meteorological and basin characteristics. WFPS was restricted to Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP) awards only (up to $5.2 million per project over 5 years)—seven CAPs, integrated across research and education or extension and one capacity (FASE) CAP grant integrated across research and extension were awarded to a set of U.S. four-year degree granting universities or colleges with a wide geographic distribution for a total of $34,922,500. (M) Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): USDA NIFA leadership reallocated the $5 million set aside for the FY 2018 INFEWS program to the AFRI Water for Food Production. Program continuation awards to cover a shortfall in the program. USDA NIFA did not fund any NEW awards in FY 2018. Funding for awards in FY 2018 supported FY 2017 continuation awards. Further, NSF did not fund any new awards in FY 2018. (N) AFRI - Education and Workforce Development (EWD): • Research and Extension Experiential Learning for Undergraduates (REEU) Program: NIFA accepted 78 proposals for review. 17 award recommendations were executed. The success rate for the program was 22%. Applications promoted research and extension experiential learning for undergraduates such that upon graduation they may enter the agriculture workforce with exceptional skills. • Professional Development Opportunities for Secondary School Teachers and Education Professionals (PD-STEP): NIFA accepted 48 proposals for review. 21 award recommendations were executed. The success rate for the program is ~43.75%. Applications supported immersive learning in non-formal educational programs for secondary school educators • Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships: NIFA received 280 proposals. 146 proposals were recommended for funding. Applications addressed the development of new scientists and professionals to enter research, education, and extension fields within the Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences, and focused upon at least one of the six Farm Bill priority areas. (O) AFRI - Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS): This is a new program in FY 2018 focused on sustainably increasing agricultural production in a way that accounts for diminishing natural resources, changing climate conditions, and increasing plant and animal disease threats. The AFRI SAS Program processed eight (8) awards totaling $77,853,248. (P) Comparative and Evolutionary Genomics Research for Accelerated Animal Breeding (Joint NIH Project) (aka CEG): This program was not funded in Fiscal Year 2018. (Q) Cyber-Physical System Program (Interagency Solicitation): Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 This is a joint program with several agencies where National Science Foundation was the lead agency that received the applications. NIFA encourages projects that advance science and technology applied to Smart & Connected Communities (both rural and urban) and real-time agricultural data analytics and control. A total budget of $5 million from NIFA was used to fund five awards. Four awards for FY 2018 involved real-time agricultural data analytics and control and one award involved Smart and Connected Communities. Awards for FY 2018 were distributed between cropping systems and animal agriculture. (R) National Robotics Initiative: Fiscal Year (FY) 2018: This is a joint program with several agencies where National Science Foundation was the lead agency that received the applications. NIFA encourages robotics research, applications, and education to enhance agricultural production, processing, and distribution systems that benefit consumers and rural communities. A total budget of $5,694,935 from NIFA was used to fund ten (10) awards. Awards for FY 2018 were distributed between cropping systems, animal agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture. (S) Joint NIFA/NSF Plant and Animal Microbiome – DCL (aka EAGERS): Fiscal Year (FY) 2018: The Dear Colleague Letter was published on January 5, 2018. https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2018/nsf18039/nsf18039.jsp?WT.mc_id=USNSF_179 Two-page summaries (134) were received by March 14, 2018, of which 39 were encouraged to submit a full application. A total of 39 applications were received for review by July 16, 2018. The Program anticipated 20 awards of which NIFA anticipated to fund ten (10) awards with $3 million funding from the FY 2018 AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program: Plant breeding program for agricultural production program area priority. (T) NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program (PBI): The NSF/NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program supports research on processes that mediate beneficial and antagonistic interactions between plants and their viral, bacterial, oomycete, fungal, parasitic plant and invertebrate symbionts, pathogens and pests. It supports research along the entire range from basic to translational/applied. The NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program has not yet made any awards with FY 2018 funds, but is processing nine (9) awards totaling $6,887,479. (U) Signals in the Soil (SitS) Program: N/A – Joint program was not funded until FY 2019. The listing below represents AFRI Programs which have not been recently funded. Hence, no further action is required (N/A/N) for the following Programs: (A) Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change; (B) Food Security; (C) Food Safety; (E) Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI); NOTE: Formerly known as AFRI Fellowships. (F) Childhood Obesity Prevention; (H) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (Joint Project with NSF, NIH, USDA and UK BBSRC); (L) International Wheat Yield Partnership; and Integrated Biorefinery Optimization (Joint Project with DOE).
Fiscal Year 2019 For Fiscal Year 2019 the Appropriations amount for the Agriculture & Food Research Initiative Grants Program (AFRI) was $415 million. The amount available for awards was $378,828,821 after legislatively mandated set-asides. Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 – ACTIVE Programs: (D) AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: For FY 2019, two (2) continuation awards have been awarded totaling $7,525,000 using FY 2018 funds. (G) AFRI: Foundational and Applied Sciences Program: For FY 2019, AFRI Foundational and Applied Science (FAS) award cycle, approximately $192,585,000 is available to fund new applications submitted to the FY 2019 AFRI FAS Program Solicitation. Applications were solicited for 35 individual programs. Currently, all the programs are either receiving applications or the program staff is screening applications submitted to the programs. Therefore, complete data for the Foundational and Applied Science program is not available at this time. (I) Joint Plant Feedstock: N/A – Additional funding is not anticipated for this Program. (J) AFRI: Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area (WFPS); Seven (7) WFPS projects were fully funded and completing year 2 activities in FY 2019. WFPS was not appropriated by Congress in FY 2019, so the cycle of RFA, proposal submission, review and award was not realized in FY 2019. Post award management continued for the seven awarded CAPs from FYs 2017 & 2018—all projects appear to be spending their funds appropriately and completing their proposed objectives in a timely manner. (M) Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): USDA NIFA allocated $7 million for support of the INFEWS program. $5 million will support funding the continuation portion of the four (4) FY 2017 awards and $2 million will cover the first year of funding for three (3) new awards. The NSF received approximately 280 proposals for the 18 awards funded between NSF and USDA NIFA. NSF funded 15 additional awards at approximately $20 million. (N) AFRI - Education and Workforce Development (EWD): • Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy (PDAL) Program Formerly known as “Professional Development Opportunities for Secondary School Teachers and Education Professionals (PD-STEP)”: Peer-review for this program has not taken place. 28 proposals have been accepted for review and 10 award recommendations are anticipated. The projected success rate for the program is approximately 35%. • Agricultural Workforce Training Program (AWT): Peer-review for this program has not taken place. 63 letters of intent were received. Application deadline is August 22, 2019. This program is being first offered in FY 2019. • REEU Program: Peer-review for this program has not taken place. 63 proposals have been accepted and 20 award recommendations are anticipated. The projected success rate for the program is ~32%. • Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships: Peer-review for this program has not taken place. Approximately 240 proposals and 120 award recommendations are anticipated. (O) AFRI - Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS): A total budget of $90 million is available to fund new application to this program. Currently, NIFA is receiving applications for the program. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date. (P) Comparative and Evolutionary Genomics Research for Accelerated Animal Breeding (Joint NIH Project) (aka CEG): This program did not make new awards based on panel rankings. (Q) Cyber-Physical System Program (Interagency Solicitation): Fiscal Year (FY) 2019: This is a joint program with several agencies where National Science Foundation was the lead agency that received the applications. NIFA encourages projects that advance science and technology applied to Smart & Connected Communities (both rural and urban) and real-time agricultural data analytics and control. It is anticipated that a total budget of $5 million from NIFA will be used to fund approximately six (6) awards. (R) National Robotics Initiative: Fiscal Year (FY) 2019: This is a joint program with several agencies where National Science Foundation was the lead agency that received the applications. NIFA encourages robotics research, applications, and education to enhance agricultural production, processing, and distribution systems that benefit consumers and rural communities. A total budget of $4,344,032 from NIFA was used to fund eleven (11) awards. Awards for FY 2019 were distributed between commodity and specialty cropping systems. (S) Joint NIFA/NSF Plant and Animal Microbiome – DCL (aka EAGERS): Fiscal Year (FY) 2019: 10 projects were funded by NIFA in Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research totaling $3 million. The following are selected examples of funded projects: • Advancing Hybrid Wheat Production through the Use of Novel Pathways for Male Sterility; • Novel Delivery Systems for Efficient CRISPR/CAS9 Gene Editing in Plant Cells; • Smart Agricultural Biotechnology With Nanoparticle-Enabled Plant Transformations; • Unified Big Data in Genomics and Phenomics for Plant Breeding; and • Utilizing High Phenotyping Approaches to Advance Plant Breeding. (T) NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program (PBI): NIFA anticipates that the funding available for the NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program in FY 2019 will be $7 million. The NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program has not yet made any research awards with FY 2019 funds. (U) Signals in the Soil (SitS) Program: NIFA will fund two (2) projects totally $1,149,717. The listing below represents AFRI Programs which have not been recently funded. Hence, no further action is required (N/A/N) for the following Programs: (A) Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change; (B) Food Security; (C) Food Safety; (E) Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI); NOTE: Formerly known as AFRI Fellowships. (F) Childhood Obesity Prevention; (H) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (Joint Project with NSF, NIH, USDA and UK BBSRC); (L) International Wheat Yield Partnership; and Integrated Biorefinery Optimization (Joint Project with DOE).
Fiscal Year 2020 For Fiscal Year 2020 the projected per the President’s Budget for the Agriculture & Food Research Initiative Grants Program (AFRI) is $500 million. The projected amount available for awards was $457,613,568 after legislatively mandated set-asides. Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 – ACTIVE Programs: (D) AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: N/A – Additional funding is not anticipated for this Program. (G) AFRI: Foundational and Applied Sciences Program: The FY 2020 funding levels have not yet been established by Congressional Appropriations. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date. (I) Joint Plant Feedstock: N/A – Additional funding is not anticipated for this Program. (J) AFRI: Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area (WFPS): The FY 2020 funding levels have not yet been established by Congressional Appropriations. If this Program is funded in FY 2020, it is projected that the funding level will be comparable and the types of projects will be similar. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date. (M) Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): It is projected that $5 million will be available for funding the continuation portion of the four (4) FY 2019 awards. (N) AFRI - Education and Workforce Development (EWD): Data is not yet available. Pertinent details to be provided by program at a future date. (O) AFRI - Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS): The FY 2020 funding levels have not yet been established by Congressional Appropriations. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date. (P) Comparative and Evolutionary Genomics Research for Accelerated Animal Breeding (Joint NIH Project) (aka CEG): It is projected that this Program will make up to two (2) awards; totaling up to $3 million. (Q) Cyber-Physical System Program (Interagency Solicitation): The FY 2020 funding levels have not yet been established by Congressional Appropriations. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date. (R) National Robotics Initiative: The FY 2020 funding levels have not yet been established by Congressional Appropriations. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date. (S) Joint NIFA/NSF Plant and Animal Microbiome – DCL (aka EAGERS): This program is scheduled to sunset in FY 2020. Thus, no information is available. Pertinent information will be provided by Program at a future date. (T) NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program (PBI): NIFA projects that the funding available for the NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program in FY 2020 will be $8 million. (U) Signals in the Soil (SitS) Program: Projected minimum amount of $2.4 million, to support three (3) awards. The listing below represents AFRI Programs which have not been recently funded. Hence, no further action is required (N/A/N) for the following Programs: (A) Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change; (B) Food Security; (C) Food Safety; (E) Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI); NOTE: Formerly known as AFRI Fellowships. (F) Childhood Obesity Prevention; (H) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (Joint Project with NSF, NIH, USDA and UK BBSRC); (L) International Wheat Yield Partnership; and Integrated Biorefinery Optimization (Joint Project with DOE).
Authorization
Competitive, Special and Facilities Research Grant Act, Section 2(2)(b), 7 U.S.C. 450i., 7 U.S.C. 450i
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
This initiative supports integrated and non-integrated programs. Please refer to Part III, A of the current Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Request for Applications for the complete eligibility requirements.
Beneficiary Eligibility
This initiative supports integrated and non-integrated programs. Please refer to Part III, A of the current Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Request for Applications (RFA) for the complete eligibility requirements.
Credentials/Documentation
The System for Award Management (SAM) combines eight federal procurement systems, including CCR, and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance into one new system. CCR activities are conducted through SAM (the CCR website will redirect users to SAM). Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM): Each applicant (unless excepted under 2 CFR SS 25.110(b) or (c), or has an exception approved by the Federal awarding agency under 2 CFR SS 25.110(d)) is required to: (i) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (ii) Provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and (iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. It also must state that the Federal awarding agency may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the Federal awarding agency is ready to make a Federal award, the Federal awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant. Applicants must furnish the information required in the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs). Successful applicants recommended for funding must furnish the information and assurances requested during the award documentation process. These include, but are not limited to the following: Organizational Management Information - Specific management information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on a one time basis, with updates on an as needed basis, as part of the responsibility determination prior to the award of a grant identified under this RFA, if such information has not been provided previously under this or another NIFA program. NIFA will provide copies of forms recommended for use in fulfilling these requirements as part of the preaward process. Although an applicant may be eligible based on its status as one of these entities, there are factors which may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits under this program (e.g., debarment or suspension of an individual involved or a determination that an applicant is not responsible based on submitted organizational management information). This information collection is approved under OMB Circular Control No. 0524-0026, "Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Agriculture Regulations Assuring Civil Rights, Compliance and Organization Information." SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available as follows: AFRI: Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-agriculture-and-natural-resources AFRI: Food Safety: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-safety-challenge-area AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-foundational-bioenergy-natural-resources-and-environment AFRI: Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-agriculture-natural-resources AFRI: Childhood Obesity Prevention: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-childhood-obesity-prevention-challenge AFRI: Foundational Program: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-foundational-program https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-foundational-exploratory-research Joint Plant Feedstock: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/plant-feedstock-genomics-bioenergy-joint-research-solicitation-usda-doe AFRI: Water (for Agriculture): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-water-agriculture-challenge-area Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/innovations-nexus-food-energy-and-water RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact statement is required for this listing. An environmental impact assessment is not required for this listing. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372. All RFAs are published on the Agency’s website and Grants.gov. Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process. Applications should be submitted as outlined in the Request for Applications (RFA). Applications must follow the instructions provided per Grants.Gov.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) only accepts electronic applications which are submitted via Grants.gov in response to specific Requests for Applications (RFA). Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process. For information about the pre-award phase of the grant lifecycle application processes see: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/learn-grants/grants-101/pre-award-phase.html. Further, applicants must follow the instructions provided in the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide, which can be assessed as follows: Adobe NIFA Applications. 2 CFR part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and 2 CFR part 400 USDA's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards apply to this program. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available as follows: AFRI: Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-agriculture-and-natural-resources AFRI: Food Safety: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-safety-challenge-area AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-foundational-bioenergy-natural-resources-and-environment AFRI: Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-agriculture-natural-resources AFRI: Childhood Obesity Prevention: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-childhood-obesity-prevention-challenge AFRI: Foundational Program: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-foundational-program https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-foundational-exploratory-research Joint Plant Feedstock: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/plant-feedstock-genomics-bioenergy-joint-research-solicitation-usda-doe AFRI: Water (for Agriculture): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-water-agriculture-challenge-area Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/innovations-nexus-food-energy-and-water RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
Award Procedure
Applications are subjected to a system of peer and merit review in accordance with section 103 of the Agricultural Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7613) by a panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the NIFA Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) shall make grants to those responsible, eligible applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth in the RFA. Reviewers will be selected based upon training and experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields, taking into account the following factors: (a) The level of relevant formal scientific, technical education, or extension experience of the individual, as well as the extent to which an individual is engaged in relevant research, education, or extension activities; (b) the need to include as reviewers experts from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific, education, or extension fields; (c) the need to include as reviewers other experts (e.g., producers, range or forest managers/operators, and consumers) who can assess relevance of the applications to targeted audiences and to program needs; (d) the need to include as reviewers experts from a variety of organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and Federal agencies, private profit and non-profit organizations) and geographic locations; (e) the need to maintain a balanced composition of reviewers with regard to minority and female representation and an equitable age distribution; and (f) the need to include reviewers who can judge the effective usefulness to producers and the general public of each application. Evaluation Criteria will be delineated in the Competitive Request for Applications (RFA). 2 CFR 200 - Subpart C and Appendix I and 2 CFR part 400 apply to this Program. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available as follows: AFRI: Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-agriculture-and-natural-resources AFRI: Food Safety: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-safety-challenge-area AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-foundational-bioenergy-natural-resources-and-environment AFRI: Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-agriculture-natural-resources AFRI: Childhood Obesity Prevention: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-childhood-obesity-prevention-challenge AFRI: Foundational Program: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-foundational-program https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-foundational-exploratory-research Joint Plant Feedstock: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/plant-feedstock-genomics-bioenergy-joint-research-solicitation-usda-doe AFRI: Water (for Agriculture): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-water-agriculture-challenge-area Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/innovations-nexus-food-energy-and-water RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
Deadlines
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 30 to 60 days. Contact the National Program Leader (NPL), as indicated per CFDA Section # 152 - Headquarters Office regarding dates for specific deadlines, start and end dates, and range of approval/disapproval time. Information is also available via our website and may be obtained via the Grants.gov website. NIFA's respective links regarding general information are provided below: http://nifa.usda.gov/ http://www.grants.gov. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available as follows: AFRI: Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-agriculture-and-natural-resources AFRI: Food Safety: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-safety-challenge-area AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-foundational-bioenergy-natural-resources-and-environment AFRI: Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-agriculture-natural-resources AFRI: Childhood Obesity Prevention: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-childhood-obesity-prevention-challenge AFRI: Foundational Program: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-foundational-program https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-foundational-exploratory-research Joint Plant Feedstock: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/plant-feedstock-genomics-bioenergy-joint-research-solicitation-usda-doe AFRI: Water (for Agriculture): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-water-agriculture-challenge-area Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/innovations-nexus-food-energy-and-water RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
Appeals
Not Applicable. 2 CFR Part 200 - Subparts D & E apply to this program.
Renewals
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
2 CFR part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and 2 CFR part 400 USDA's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards apply to this program. Within guidelines established for the program as described in the Competitive Request for Application (RFA). The most current RFAs are available as follows: AFRI: Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-agriculture-and-natural-resources AFRI: Food Safety: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-safety-challenge-area AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-foundational-bioenergy-natural-resources-and-environment AFRI: Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-agriculture-natural-resources AFRI: Childhood Obesity Prevention: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-childhood-obesity-prevention-challenge AFRI: Foundational Program: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-foundational-program https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-foundational-exploratory-research Joint Plant Feedstock: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/plant-feedstock-genomics-bioenergy-joint-research-solicitation-usda-doe AFRI: Water (for Agriculture): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-water-agriculture-challenge-area Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/innovations-nexus-food-energy-and-water RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
How may assistance be used?
Grant funds must be used for allowable costs necessary to conduct approved fundamental and applied research, extension and education objectives to address food and agricultural sciences. The competitive grants program shall address the following areas: A) Plant health and production and plant products; B) Animal health and production and animal products; C) Food safety, nutrition, and health; D) Renewable energy, natural resources, and environment; E) Agriculture systems and technology; and F) Agriculture economics and rural communities. Funds shall not be used for the construction of a new building or facility or the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, or alteration of an existing building or facility (including site grading and improvement, and architect fees). Funds may not be used for any purposes other than those approved in the grant award documents.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Performance Reports: PERFORMANCE MONITORING: See above for pertinent and specific details.
Auditing
Relation to other audit requirements, but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and Government Accountability Office (GAO). This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General.
Records
In accordance with 2 CFR Part 400 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, SS 200.333 Retention requirements for records. Grantees shall maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for authorized purposes. Grant-related records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and must be retained at least three (3) years. Records must be retained beyond the three (3) year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved 2 CFR Part 200, Subpart D applies to this program.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is voluntary. 50%. Funds are awarded competitively. No formula grants are awarded under this authority. For equipment grants – Unless criteria is met to qualify for waiver by the Secretary, matching shall not exceed 50 percent of the cost of the special research equipment or other equipment acquired using funds from the grant. For applied research – if the grant is commodity-specific; and not of national scope, the grant recipient is required to match USDA funds awarded on a dollar-for-dollar basis from non-Federal sources with cash and/or in-kind contributions.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The term of a competitive grant under this program may not exceed ten (10) years. 2 CFR Part 200, Subpart D applies to this program. Further details are provided in the Award document Form NIFA-2009 and the NIFA General Terms and Conditions Grants and Cooperative Agreements (dated October 2016) at: https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/nifa-general-terms-and-conditions-grants-and-cooperative-agreements-october-2016. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available as follows: AFRI: Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-agriculture-and-natural-resources AFRI: Food Safety: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-safety-challenge-area AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-foundational-bioenergy-natural-resources-and-environment AFRI: Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-agriculture-natural-resources AFRI: Childhood Obesity Prevention: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-childhood-obesity-prevention-challenge AFRI: Foundational Program: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-foundational-program https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-foundational-exploratory-research Joint Plant Feedstock: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/plant-feedstock-genomics-bioenergy-joint-research-solicitation-usda-doe AFRI: Water (for Agriculture): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-water-agriculture-challenge-area Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/innovations-nexus-food-energy-and-water RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database. NIFA utilizes the Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP), a secure, web-based electronic payment and information system that allows federal agencies to administer funds. Currently, ASAP is the only payment source for new NIFA grantees.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
NIFA is transitioning to a new location for Fiscal Year 2020. NIFA's New Mailing Address AFTER September 30, 2019 follows: National Institute of Food and Agriculture 6501 Beacon Drive Kansas City, MO 64133 Additional Websites: http://nifa.usda.gov/program/afri-climate-variability-and-change-challenge-area : http://nifa.usda.gov/program/afri-food-security-challenge-area http://nifa.usda.gov/program/afri-food-safety-challenge-area http://nifa.usda.gov/program/afri-sustainable-bioenergy-challenge-area http://nifa.usda.gov/program/afri-education-and-literacy-initiative http://nifa.usda.gov/program/afri-childhood-obesity-prevention-challenge-area http://nifa.usda.gov/program/afri-foundational-program http://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/ecology-and-evolution-infectious-diseases http://nifa.usda.gov/press-release/research-projects-improve-plant-feedstocks-bioenergy-production-departments http://nifa.usda.gov/program/afri-water-agriculture-challenge-area
Headquarters Office
USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader,
Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, Division of Animal Systems, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2240, Telephone: (202) 401-6134; Fax: (202) 1602.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS:

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment, Division of Global Climate Change, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2210, Telephone: (202) 401-4926; Fax: (202) 401-1705;

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, Division of Plant Systems-Protection, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2240, Telephone: (202) 401-4939; Fax: (202) 401-1782:

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition, Division of Food Safety, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2225, Telephone: (202) 401-1954; Fax: (202) 401-4888;

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment, Division of Bioenergy, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2210, Telephone: (202) 401-5244; Fax: (202) 401-2653;

AND

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition, Division of Nutrition, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2225, Telephone: (202) 401-2138; Fax: (202) 401-6488.


Washington, DC 20250-2240 US
Policy@nifa.usda.gov
Phone: (202) 401-6134
Fax: (202) 401-1602
Website Address
http://nifa.usda.gov/grants
Financial Information
Account Identification
12-1500-0-1-352
Obligations
(Project Grants) FY 18$365,236,233.00; FY 19 est $378,828,821.00; FY 20 est $457,613,568.00; FY 17$342,971,061.00; FY 16$320,740,856.00; - The difference between the appropriation and obligation numbers reflects legislative authorized set-asides deducted as appropriate, and in some cases the availability of obligational authority from prior years. NOTES: (1) This program represents no year funds. (2) These funds do not include carryover.. (4) FY 2018 funding proposed significant increases in AFRI Science Priorities.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
If minimum or maximum amounts of funding per competitive and/or capacity project grant, or cooperative agreement are established, these amounts will be announced in the annual Competitive Request for Application (RFA). The most current RFAs are available as follows: AFRI: Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-agriculture-and-natural-resources AFRI: Food Safety: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-safety-challenge-area AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-foundational-bioenergy-natural-resources-and-environment AFRI: Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-agriculture-natural-resources AFRI: Childhood Obesity Prevention: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-childhood-obesity-prevention-challenge AFRI: Foundational Program: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-foundational-program https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-foundational-exploratory-research Joint Plant Feedstock: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/plant-feedstock-genomics-bioenergy-joint-research-solicitation-usda-doe AFRI: Water (for Agriculture): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-water-agriculture-challenge-area Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/innovations-nexus-food-energy-and-water RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
As an administrator of U.S. government support, NIFA works in partnership with grantees to ensure responsible stewardship of federal funds. Our grantees and partners are required to comply with all relevant rules and regulations. The following resources are provided to NIFA's partners and award recipients to support their adherence to federal regulations governing program performance: NIFA's primary (main) website: https://nifa.usda.gov/regulations-and-guidelines The following represent specific documents and direct links: POLICY GUIDE NIFA's Federal Assistance Policy Guide describes agency policies and procedures. https://nifa.usda.gov/policy-guide CERTIFICATIONS AND REPRESENTATIONS Certifications and representations provided through the NIFA application process. https://nifa.usda.gov/certifications-and-representations ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF USDA SUPPORT BY NIFA When acknowledging USDA support in accordance with 2 CFR Part 415, grantees must use the following acknowledgement for all projects or initiatives supported by NIFA. https://nifa.usda.gov/acknowledgment-usda-support-nifa FEDERAL REGULATIONS The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) lists all regulations published in the Federal Register. https://nifa.usda.gov/federal-regulations FOIA The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person has the right to request access to federal documents and information such as research data. https://nifa.usda.gov/foia NEPA POLICY AND GUIDANCE The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Policy and Guidance set the standard for identifying potential environmental impacts. https://nifa.usda.gov/nepa-policy-and-guidance OGFM ISSUED CORRESPONDENCE The Office of Grants and Financial Management occasionally issues correspondence to applicants, grantees, and/or the general public for informational or clarification purposes. https://nifa.usda.gov/ogfm-issued-correspondence RESEARCH MISCONDUCT NIFA requires that all its awardees adhere to the USDA Scientific Integrity Policy and the Federal Policy on Research Misconduct. https://nifa.usda.gov/research-misconduct NIFA'S GENERAL AWARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS Award terms and conditions are determined by statutory, regulatory, and agency requirements, as well as each grant's circumstances. Terms and conditions dictate important items related to your grant, including method of payment, reporting frequency and content, and prior approval requirements. References to the terms and conditions of awards are located on the NIFA 2009 Award Fact Sheet. NIFA's general award terms and conditions (see link below) is applicable to this program, for awards with an award date on December 26, 2014 and thereafter. https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/nifa-general-terms-and-conditions-grants-and-cooperative-agreements-october-2016.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016 For FY 2016: (A) AFRI: Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change Challenge Area: The FY 2016 RFA has not been released, so there are no new awards to discuss to date. In FY 2016, an anticipated $1,937,025 continuation award will be made to support a study to increase Southern Great Plains beef-grazing systems resilience to climate variability and climate change mitigating their environmental footprint of agriculture. An anticipated $1,973,691 continuation award will be made to develop environmentally-sound US dairy production with enhanced resilience and capacity for climate change adaptation. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date. (B) AFRI: Food Security: For FY 2016: The panel peer review process is ongoing. However, it is anticipated there will be 9 awards will be made. Continuation awards will be made on food security projects funded in prior years. (C ) AFRI: Food Safety Challenge Area: Not available. FY 2016 Applications are scheduled to be paneled for review in November 2016. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date. (D) AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: For FY 2016 it is anticipated that approximately 40 proposals will be reviewed and up two 4 new awards will be made totaling up to $12 million. 2 continuation awards were also made for totaling $4 million under the Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP). It is also anticipated that 18 proposals will be reviewed and up to 3 awards will be made totaling $9 million under the Investing in America’s Scientific Corps: Preparing a New Generation of Students, Faculty, and Workforce for Emerging Challenges in Bioenergy, Bioproducts, and the Bioeconomy priority all under Sustainable Bioenergy Challenge Area. Under AFRI Foundational Program, there will be two Research-only priorities under Bioenergy, Natural Resource, and Environment (BNRE) Priority Area: (1) Cover Crops, and (2) Socioeconomic Implications and Public Policy Challenges. Estimated 30 proposals will be reviewed and up to 6 new awards will be made for each priority; with two priorities totaling approximately $6 million. (E) AFRI: Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI): Award recommendations are pending. Once executed, information will be available at http://cris.nifa.usda.gov/. Projects funded will develop the next generation of leaders who will be actively engaged in agriculture, forestry, and food related research, education, and extension careers. Successful proposals will focus on developing the next generation of scientists, who will lead agriculture into the future by solving current and future challenges facing our society. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date. (F) AFRI: Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area: It is anticipated that projects funded in FY 2016 will increase our understanding of childhood obesity prevention. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date. (G) AFRI: Foundational Program: For FY 2016: (1) Foundational Knowledge of Agricultural Species: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will lead to the development of innovative solutions to problems threatening the productivity, efficiency, and sustainability of the selected production system. (2) Pest and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will develop novel, innovative and environmentally sound ways to manage agriculturally important pests and beneficial species. (3) Physiology of Agricultural Plants: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will lead to the molecular, biochemical, cellular and whole plant, agronomic or eco-physiological approaches to improve plant productivity or performance. (4) Plant Breeding for Agricultural Production: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will lead to the improvement of crop productivity, efficiency, quality, performance and/ or local adaptation to support public breeding efforts. (5) Animal Reproduction: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will increase knowledge in cellular, molecular, genomic/genetic or whole-animal aspects of animal reproduction. (6) Animal Nutrition, Growth and Lactation: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY2016 will increase knowledge in cellular, molecular, genomic/genetic or whole-animal aspects of nutrition, growth and lactation. (7) Animal Well-Being: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will increase knowledge of evaluating current management practices and developing new management practices that reduce animal stress and optimize sustainable production efficiency. (8) Animal Health and Disease: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will increase knowledge in cellular, molecular, genomic/genetic or whole-animal aspects of animal health and disease. (9) Tools and Resources – Animal Breeding, Genetics and Genomics: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will increase knowledge in the development of community genetic and genomic resources and tools including software, experimental protocol/methods for breeding which can be applied to advancing basic biology and applied animal health and nutrition. (10) Tools and Resources – Immune Reagents for Agricultural Animals: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will increase knowledge in the development of publicly accessible immunological reagents for agriculturally-relevant animal species. (11) Improving Food Safety: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will: (1) develop and validate cost efficient novel methods for capturing infectious human food-borne hazards; (2) Develop or improve and validate foodborne hazard detection methods; and (3) develop foodborne hazards in foods using risk based approach. (12) Improving Food Quality: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will: (1) increase knowledge in understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological properties of foods and food ingredients; and (2) develop innovative food processing and packaging materials, and food quality monitoring technologies. (13) Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will improve the understanding of the development and functionality of alternative to traditional antimicrobials currently used in agriculture. (14) Function and Efficacy of Nutrients: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will investigate the role of bioactive components of food in preventing inflammation or promoting gastrointestinal health. (15) Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycling: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will increase knowledge in the physical and biogeochemical (including microbial) processes affecting the flow, fate and transport, transformation, movement, and storage of nitrogen and phosphorus. (16) Agroecosystem Management: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will develop and evaluate innovative agroecosystem management practices and systems for their potential to enhance ecosystem services. (17) Cover Crops for Bioenergy and Biobased Products: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will develop and evaluate the regional/sub-regional use and system management of new and innovative cover crops and / or double cropping systems for use in the production of biofuels, biopower, or biobased products. (18) Socioeconomic Implications and Public Policy Challenges of Bioenergy and Bioproducts Market Development and Expansion: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will strengthen science- based knowledge and informing policy- or decision –makers in the emerging bioeconomy field. (19) Agricultural Engineering: It is anticipated that the projects in FY 2016 will develop engineering devices, technologies, and tools to improve agriculturally relevant plant, animal, forestry, and natural resource systems. (20) Bioprocessing and Bioengineering: It is anticipated that the projects in FY 2016 will develop engineered products and processes to improve agriculturally relevant plant, animal, forestry, and natural resource systems. (21) Nanotechnology for Agricultural and Food Systems: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will develop nanotechnology enabled solutions for food security through improved productivity, quality, and biodiversity; improved nutritional value of feeds and more effective therapies that significantly impact animal health and wellness; enhanced food safety and biosecurity; and increased protection for natural resources, the environment, and agricultural ecosystems. (22) Economics, Markets and Trade: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will focus on developing theories, methods and applications of economics. (23) Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will advance economic theories, methods, tools, analyses and applications. Those advancement should contribute to the understanding of an ecological approach to agriculture that embraces both production and sustainable resource management. (24) Behavioral and Experimental Economic Applications for Agri-Environmental Policy Design: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will apply behavioral and experimental techniques to agri-environmental issues which will advance application Behavioral Economics to conservation policy design and implementation. (25) Small and Medium-Sized Farms: In FY 2016, this program anticipates in funding projects that develop and/or adopt new models to assist agricultural (farm, forest, or ranch) landowner/manager decision making with respect to appropriate scale management strategies and technologies to enhance economic efficiency and sustainability. (26) Innovation for Rural Entrepreneurs and Communities: It is anticipated that the projects funded in FY 2016 will enhance economic opportunity and well-being of people involved in agriculture, food systems and rural communities and to enhance the adoption of private strategies and public policy options to benefit the well-beings and resilience of agricultural, and food businesses, and rural communities. (27) Critical Agricultural Research and Extension (CARE): It is anticipated that the FY 2016 funded projects under this program will develop and implement solutions to critical producer problems associated with one or more of the six Farm Bill priorities. Exploratory Research: In FY 2016, this program anticipates in funding projects relevant to one of the six Farm Bill priorities that will develop proof of concept for untested novel ideas including “high risk – high impact” work that will lead to a significant change in US agriculture. (H) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (w/NSF, NIH, USDA and UK BBSRC): No Action Needed for FY 2016. (I) Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy: A Joint Research (USDA & DOE): No Action Needed for FY 2016. (J) AFRI: Water for Agriculture Challenge Area: No data is available. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date. (K) National Institute of Food and Agriculture International Wheat Yield Partnership Program: Information is not yet available. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date. (L) Carbon Cycle Science (InterAgency NASA/DOE): (1) Microbe-mineral interactions and the fate of carbon along soil climo-chronosequences: This project will Introduce of more rigorous process equations or sub-models into soil and ecosystem models for incorporation into earth system models will improve model predictions of future climate change which will help in both mitigation and adaptation strategies and reduce risks associated with a changing climate. (2) Integrated Belowground Greenhouse Gas Flux Measurements and Modeling: Soils and wetlands are significant sources and sinks for atmospheric CO2, CH4 and N2O and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from these sources are likely to play a significant role as biotic feedbacks to climate change. The main objective is to improve understanding of and modeling capacity for interactions of belowground temperature, moisture, and substrate supply as controllers of net soil emissions of CO2, CH4, and N2O. Intense and verified observations and multiple GHG measurements will be made of a wetland-to upland site with ongoing work funded by DOE and NASA. These observations of soil and ecosystem fluxes of multiple GHGs will be used to develop and validate the merged model, as well as to quantify the uncertainties, providing a new approach to simulation of climate-dependent responses of terrestrial ecosystems at both short (hourly to seasonal) and long (annual to centennial) time scales. The parsimonious structures of these models are designed to be applicable to both site-level analysis and Earth system models. (3) C-cycling in native vs. non-native dominated systems: This project will address a fundamental knowledge gap on how belowground C-cycling is impacted by the replacement of native rangelands with non-native communities under ambient or altered rainfall patterns in a unique long-term experiment. Results from the study will be useful to modelers and land managers by quantifying the costs and benefits of planting native vs. non-native species under an altered climate, considering effects the exotics, biodiversity, and management in grassland systems on rooting depth, C3-C4 biomass proportions, and aboveground biomass production (peak biomass). (4) Soil Organic Carbon Interactions with Organic Matter Additions: Mechanisms and Models: Inform decisions of policy related to land management; and enhance our ability to predict future climate change and understand the consequences of land management practices in terms of productivity and GHG emissions. (5) Reducing uncertainty in carbon cycle science of North America: a synthesis program across United States and Mexico: Improved understanding of the interactions and gradients across all of North America, from central America to the arctic regions on Alaska and Canada, allowing for better models and predictions with reduced uncertainty (6) Improved Observation of Effects of Hydrology and Micro-topography on Belowground C Cycling and Net Ecosystem Exchange in Natural and Managed Forested Wetlands in the Southeast U.S. to Improve Ecosystem Models: Improved earth system models and ability to project effects of climate change and sea level rise and to allow society to mitigate and adapt to reduce risks associated with climate change. (7) Carbon cycle dynamics within Oregon's urban-suburban-forested-agricultural landscapes: An important impact will be to identify policies and management strategies that can sustain ecosystem function while addressing land use changes that are intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This observation-driven modeling approach will provide an invaluable policy analysis tool for other regions as it projects integrated impacts of land use decisions and climate change on ecosystem carbon and water processes and climate feedbacks. (M) Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (aka INFEWS): There are four awards scheduled to be funded by USDA NIFA for this program. One project, jointly funded with NSF, will look at how coordinated management of physical and non-physical water storage systems across the food, energy, and water systems in the Pacific Northwest will promotes resilience in the region. Another project will develop a novel, human computation-based decision support system that will enable local and regional community stakeholder to enable robust adaptation decisions for natural resources management in FEW systems. The third project, jointly funded with NSF, will use modelling efforts to learn how to better monitor and manage California’s stressed interdependent food, energy and water systems. These model will provide insights into agent behaviors, crop responses, infrastructure and long-term trends in the supply and demand of resources. The last NIFA sponsored project will address food, energy, and water system challenges in the Wisconsin dairy industry by combining multi-scale systems analysis and experimental research to create a powerful technology evaluation and decision-making platform. (N) Agricultural Greenhouse Gases: No further action is required. NIFA decided not to participate in the European Research Area Net (ERA-NET) Solicitation as instructed by the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture. (O) National Robotics Initiative: RAPID: ROBOT-ASSISTED PRECISION IRRIGATION DELIVERY This project will investigate a co-robotic approach where a team of humans and robots move through fields to adjust low-cost adjustable drip irrigation emitters at the plant level. The project will involve the design, development, and evaluation of a series of prototypes of low-cost, robust co-robotic systems compatible with existing drip irrigation infrastructure in vineyards and orchards. The project will build on prior work in irrigation modeling and develop feedback algorithms compatible with available sensing technologies using diffusion models to optimize desired emitter settings. The project will also extend results in Orienteering Planning to advise humans and guide robots about when, where, and how to act to achieve desired field conditions at the plant level. PRECISION POLLINATION ROBOT In this project, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers propose to develop a prototype of precision pollination robot for bramble (e.g. blackberry and raspberry) pollination in a greenhouse environment. Computer vision algorithms will be used to estimate the flower position, size, orientation, and physical condition, and to guide the robotic arm to capture and interact with flowers. A set of soft brush tips, mimicking bee’s hairs (i.e. scopa) and motion, will then be used to pollinate flowers. The design parameters of the delicate robot-flower interface will be driven by a series of insect pollination experiments. The precision rover navigation, mapping, and localization of individual flowers within complex greenhouse environments will be provided through a fusion of GPS, Lidar, camera, inertial sensor, and wheel encoder measurements. A human operator collaborates with the robot through supplying agriculture domain knowledge, providing high-level decisions, and correcting mistakes made by the robot ROBOT-ASSISTED FIELD-BASED HIGH THROUGHPUT PLANT PHENOTYPING High-throughput phenotyping technologies that can quickly and repeatedly scan tens of thousands of individuals using an array of advanced sensor and data analytics tools are critical to improving the ability of scientists to dissect the genetics of quantitative traits such as yield and stress tolerance. The proposed project, to develop a robot-assisted field-based high throughput phenotyping system that integrates both ground and unmanned aerial elements to quantitatively measure a suite of key traits iteratively throughout the growing season, is expected to unmask plant responses that will inform a new level and quality of decision making in selection of crop genotypes for specific production conditions. The task coordination between ground and aerial vehicles will result in new discoveries in the area of partitioning and coverage control. Employing the proposed high throughput phenotyping system to acquire data on an unprecedented scale could address challenges that are unique to improvement of cotton (the focal crop), as well as general constraints leading to improvement of most crops. SALIENCY-DRIVEN ROBOTIC NETWORK FOR SPATIO-TEMPORAL PLANT PHENOTYPING The objective of this project is to build a network of ground robots that can collect multi-modal data in research farms for high throughput modular plant phenotyping. The robotic network will have the following capabilities: (i) Navigate in a farm to collect data with minimal human intervention during operation; (ii) Autonomous decision making i.e, it can take its own decisions for maximizing the value of information of the acquired data; (iii) Scalable in terms of the size of the farmland; and (iv) Work in collaboration with humans to improve their situational awareness in multi-dimensional genome wide studies. The approach will leverage opportunistic sensing, task partitioning and scout-task allocation and spatio-temporal importance map building, to enable resolution of the above science questions that cannot be addressed without the use of robotic systems. AT THE WATER’S EDGE – INSTALLATION AND OPTIMIZATION OF ROBOTIC SENSING SYSTEMS Wetlands are critical to the water cycle, yet they are a difficult environment to safely and effectively monitor. Robot systems have the potential to transform our understanding of complex wetlands systems by not only allowing faster and higher density sensing, but also by enabling new types of measurements and sample collections that cannot currently be performed without significantly disrupting these sensitive systems. This project proposes expanding current unmanned aerial vehicle systems, developing novel water monitoring systems, and designing algorithms in order to enable: (1) accurate measurement of the dynamic wetlands channels, including topography and flow, without prior knowledge; (2) adaptive and autonomous installation of static and limited-mobility sensors; and (3) optimization of the overall robot and sensor system to improve information gain while constrained by limited energy and communications. (P) NSF Cyber-Physical Systems: Information is not yet available. Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date. (Q) Plant Biotic Interactions (PBI) Program: No awards have been made yet for FY 2016. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date. The following represents examples of funded projects for active Programs: (A) AFRI: Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change Climate Masters: One (1) project aims to increase climate change literacy in the arid Southwest while supporting both adaptation and mitigation activities for different and diverse groups, such as tribal communities and Hispanic farmers through a planning and outreach program. Another project is developing a program that will help build climate resilient communities in rural Alaskan communities, including native Alaskan villages. Climate and Land Use: A project focused in the Southeast will identify and test climate adaptation and mitigation in fruit and vegetable supply chains using a holistic, systems approach based on crop, economic, and environmental modeling. Another Land Use and Climate project will look at how climate is impacting land-use decision in the inland Pacific Northwest wheat-based systems to help adapt these systems to changing environments. (C ) AFRI: Food Safety • Mitigating the Risk of Antibiotic Resistance at Critical Control Points in the Beef Cattle Manure Management System • Developing Computational Tools to Identify Critical Control Points for Mitigating the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance in Agro-ecosystems • Mitigation of Fluoroquinolone-resistant Campylobacter in Cattle • Mitigating Transmission of Antimicrobial Resistance on Large Dairy Farms by Reducing Behavioral Pathways of Exposure • Support for Hosting the International Symposium on Environmental Dimensions of Antibiotic Resistance (D) AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy A total of seven (7) awards were made in FY 2016 for the Bioenergy Challenge Area in various program areas. Examples included but not limited to: NEWBio: Northeast Woody/Warm-season Biomass Consortium NEWBio aims to build robust, scalable and sustainable value chains for biomass energy in the Northeast growing short rotation woody crops and perennial grasses on underutilized or marginal lands. System For Advanced Biofuels Production From Woody Biomass In The Pacific Northwest This project is to ready the Pacific Northwest (PNW) for a 2015 introduction of a 100% infrastructure compatible biofuels industry that meets the region's pro-rata share of Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) targets using sustainably grown regionally appropriate woody energy crops, thereby helping to revitalize the region's agriculture/forestry sectors with establishment of a sustainable advanced biofuels industry that supports both large and small growers and brings jobs to rural communities in the region. (E) AFRI: Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI) • REEU: Projects were funded that promote research and extension learning experiences for undergraduates such that upon graduation they may enter the agricultural workforce with exceptional skills. Successful proposals enhanced the capacity of institutions to produce graduates with skills needed to address challenges of the 21st Century in the Food, Agricultural, Natural Resources, and Human (FANH) sciences. • PD-STEP: Projects were funded that increase the number of K-14 teachers and educational professionals trained in the FANH sciences. Successful proposals developed pathways to identify and replicate best practices to engage youth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields within the FANH sciences • Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships: Projects were funded that will develop the next generation of leaders who will be actively engaged in agriculture, forestry, and food related research, education, and extension careers. Successful proposals focused on developing the next generation of scientists who will lead agriculture into the future by solving current and future challenges facing our society. The awarded projects also targeted talented, highly-motivated doctoral candidates and postdoctoral trainees that demonstrate remarkable promise and demonstrated the ability to increase the number of gifted agricultural scientists in the United States. (F) AFRI: Childhood Obesity Prevention: Starting Early: Expansion of a Primary Care-Based Early Child Obesity Prevention Program This proposal is a multi-functional integrated research, education and extension project to evaluate the long term impacts of the Starting Early Program (StEP) and to develop and evaluate a two-fold expansion of this novel approach to preventing early child obesity. This proposal fully integrates research to determine the efficacy of the StEP intervention and key factors causing early childhood obesity, education of pregnant women and mothers as well as dietetic/nutrition and primary health care providers and extension into: (1) the Families, Food and Fitness eXtension community of practice; (2) primary health care setting; and (3) Supplemental Nutrition Programs for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Advancing and Expanding HomeStyles: Shaping HOME Environments and LifeSTYLES to Prevent Childhood Obesity This multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, multi-state, integrated Research, Education, and Extension project will advance and expand the progress of HomeStyles toward reducing risk of childhood overweight and obesity. HomeStyles, an in-home family intervention, enables and motivates English- and Spanish-speaking parents to shape home environments and weight-related lifestyle practices to prevent childhood obesity. Segment 1 of HomeStyles focused families with preschoolers (ages 2-5). Summer Harvest Adventure: A garden-based obesity prevention program for children residing in low-resource communities This novel proposal is in direct response to the AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area aligning with the USDA Strategic Plan. The long-term goal of our enhanced Team Nutrition-based intervention, "Summer Harvest Adventure," is to promote obesity prevention strategies (improve diet, physical activity) and help fill the summer meal gap for children, ages 8-11 years, residing in low-resource communities. The healthcare cost of every obese child in the U.S. over a lifetime is $19,000 more than his/her normal-weight counterpart. (G) AFRI: Foundational Program: Only a few examples are listed below. Numerous other examples of funded foundational projects under all of the 28 Program areas are available via this following link for abstracts: link 1) Foundational Knowledge of Agricultural Production Systems: i) Enhancing the rhizosphere microbiome and soil health to increase yield resilience to stress. ii) Exploring soil biological health and pest management trade-offs to maximize crop productivity. 2) Pests and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems: i) The role of eco-evolutionary dynamics in an expanding biocontrol agent. ii) Genetics, Genomics, and transcriptomics of host specificity in aphid parasitoids. 3) Physiology of Agricultural Plants: i) Developing low PH tolerant varieties of chickpea. ii) Do Nitrogen fixation strategies align with plant growth strategies? 4) Plant Breeding for Agricultural Production: i) Plant breeding for sweet corn improvement by rational design. ii) Dissecting sea wheatgrass genome to transfer biotic stress resistance and abiotic stress tolerance into wheat. 5) Animal Reproduction: i) Identifying metabolic markers of bull fertility. ii) Follicle selection and development in chickens. i) Next generation spray drift mitigation via field-deployable, real-time weather monitoring and novel spray nozzle control technologies. ii) Improving variable rate irrigation efficiency using a real-time soil water adaptive control model informed by sensors deployed on unmanned aircraft system. (I) Joint Plant Feedstock: In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, two (2) proposals were funded totaling $2 million. Project objectives included, but were not limited to: • Identifying yield drought tolerance through genotyping and phenotyping of Camelia as a Biofuel Crop. • Understanding the Resistance of Stalk Pathogens for Bioenergy Sorghum (J) AFRI: Water (for Agriculture): The program became effective FY 2017. Hence, no data is available for FY 2016. (M) Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): NIFA fully funded a $2.4 million award to a university to research the interconnections between the dairy, anaerobic digestion, ethanol, and corn production in Wisconsin to develop decision support tools to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture in the region. NIFA provided $452,000 to a university and $373,000 to another university with co-funding from NSF to a project researching how to best manage the competition for water between managing food, energy, and municipal uses in California. A university received $1.5 million to research cyberphysical systems to support a decision support system for coordination of adaptation planning among FEW actors in the Pacific Northwest. The following Programs are no longer funded: hence, no action is required: (B) AFRI: Food Security (L) International Wheat Yield Partnership
Fiscal Year 2018 Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 – ACTIVE Programs: (D) AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: The FY 2017 Sustainable Bioenergy Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP) continued work in FY 2018. • The Southeast Partnership for Advanced Renewables from Carinata (SPARC) is developing a resilient Brassica carinata based biofuel and bioproduct supply chain in the Southeast, from feedstock development to distribution to end user. • The Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions (SBAR) is a multi-level research project that will cultivate two desert-dwelling crops, guayule and guar, for a sustainable bioeconomy. (G) AFRI: Foundational and Applied Sciences Program: The AFRI Foundational Program provides funding for Research, Education and Extension projects in the six (6) AFRI Farm Bill priority areas. The following are selected examples of funded projects: • Implications of epigenetic rejuvenation during vegetative propagation for the production of locally adapted perennial crop cultivars. • Establishment of Completely Reprogrammed Bovine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. • Cereal Bran Fiber Controls on Gut Microbiome Diversity, Metabolic Function, and Host Physiology. • Leveraging Plant-Microbe Interactions to Increase Nutrient Use Efficiency and Bioenergy Crop Yield on Marginal Lands. • Advancing Forest Logging Residue Harvesting and Collection Logistics in the Eastern United States. • Combination Mechanical Shear And Moderate Electric Field Treatment For Production Of Safe, Nutritionally Enhanced Liquid Foods And Beverages. (I) Joint Plant Feedstock: Genetic Improvement of Seed Yield and Oil Content in Field Pennycress, a Non-Food Oilseed Feedstock - This project will genetically improve seed size and seed oil content of field pennycress for its use as a new winter annual cash cover crop for the U.S. Midwest. Breeding resilient, disease-resistant switchgrass cultivars for marginal lands - The goal of this project is to leverage previous research results to accelerate the development of superior, disease-resistant, climate-resilient switchgrass cultivars for expanding the range of biomass cultivation in the Northeast (J) AFRI: Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area (WFPS): Water and Nutrient Recycling: A Decision Tool and Synergistic Innovative Technology The combination of continued global population growth, with an additional 3 billion people over the next 40 years, and expected intensification of climate variability and resulting variability in reliable water resources requires that water recycling become an integrated part of agricultural water resource management. Further, important nutrients are lost to wastewaters but could be recycled and reused for food production. Absent a concerted effort to recycle these nutrients, the food supply demand will inherently create a less resilient agriculture industry. Water treatment and nutrient needs will vary geographically and based on production. Thus, a user-driven strategy for food production supported by wastewater and nutrient recycling inherently demands not only a systems-based approach, but a flexible decision-making approach. They propose to study innovative technology for liquid manure wastewater treatment and nutrient recovery within the framework of a decision-making tool that allows technology selection based on region-specific needs for water recycling and food production. The tool will be built upon an economic and life cycle assessment model that guides the user to technology selection based on user-based knowledge of soil chemistry, fertilization needs, crop selection, livestock production, desired level of wastewater treatment, water use, wastewater production, and regulatory requirements. Evaluating Alternative Water Institutions in Snow-Dominated Basins: Are Food Production Systems at Risk from Changing Water Availability? Their team’s project aims to support food production in the arid west through a collaborative research framework integrating physical and economic models with stakeholder participation to evaluate outcomes of shifts in snowmelt-derived water supplies. Expected impacts include improved water management policy to support adaptation to changes in water available to agricultural users. The project will serve to enhance the resiliency of producers, thereby ensuring food security in the arid west and quantify the dynamics of water supply and demonstrate outcomes from altering water rights institutions, allocation mechanisms, and storage practices. By producing a hydro-climate-economic model for variable water supply, timing, and built storage capacity, the project will determine how changes in the timing of flows constrain agricultural producer decision making and how water rights institutions can exacerbate or relieve these constraints. Coupling domestic wastewater resources to urban controlled environment agriculture systems The project team hopes to couple the nutrient and water resources in domestic wastewater to urban controlled environment agriculture systems (DWW-CEAs). Supporting objectives include 1) confirming that produce growth rates and quality don’t diminish compared to controlled experiments where synthetic hydroponic fertilizers are used, 2) confirming that chemical contaminants don’t accumulate in the produce, 3) confirming that the produce is pathogen free, 4) reduce DWW treatment costs by using the latest in energy-positive treatment technologies, 5) developing a sustainable Food, Energy and Water system using modelling approaches to minimize investments in DWW-CEA systems while maximizing the utility of the systems, 6) providing an education in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics in high-tech wastewater treatment and CEA technologies, 7) develop a veteran workforce to help operate DWW-CEAs, and 8) guide local policy to provide sustainable and long-lasting solutions to conserve precious nutrients and water resources. To accomplish the project goal, a pilot-scale hydroponic system will be constructed and operated using DWW mined from the sewer system in Georgia. The DWW will be treated to remove contaminants and pathogens before being used to irrigate hydroponic systems to assure food and farm worker safety. Multiple fruit and vegetable varieties will be grown year-round. Water quality and chemical and microorganism contamination will be measured continuously. The project will show that DWW-CEAs are socially, environmentally and financially sustainable, easily replicable in urban areas and will provide a long-lasting solution to conserve water resources for food production. Cover Crops: The Cornerstone of Water Management in the Face of Increasing Demand and a Changing Climate Conservation tillage in combination with cover crops (CC) plays an important role in preserving long-term water and food security. However, adoption of these management approaches still remains low. The project team will develop a network of early CC and CT adopters to address gaps between perception and reality of how these tools influence water dynamics. They will measure CC impacts to soil water on multiple farms in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast to use in modeling efforts aimed at producers, stakeholders and policy educators. Objectives include: 1) quantify how on-farm management influences CC biomass quantity/quality and subsequent effects on water dynamics across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast US; 2) model soil water and CC decomposition to determine water availability for following cash crop and volume of water moving out of the profile; 3) quantify and simulate how soil and CC management under current and future climates influence corn and soybean yield (potential, stability and economics) in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast; 4) develop an outreach program, informed by our early adopter network of farmers that identifies and overcomes misconceptions about the cost and value of CCs; and 5) provide science-based data supporting integration of CCs into federal crop insurance programs and increased farmer adoption of advanced risk management tools (CT and CCs). SmartPath: Grower-directed convergence of nanotechnology and smart decision analytics for irrigation water quality management related to pathogens. Agricultural water shortage problems arise from deteriorating quality, groundwater depletion, uncertainties in precipitation associated with climate change, and unsustainable freshwater usage. This project focuses on reducing overall freshwater use by developing new smart irrigation systems emphasizing the quality of alternative water sources with potential pathogen contamination (SmartPath). They will develop innovative software and hardware solutions for on-farm water management, enabling small farmers that do not have access to a nearby analytical lab service to meet the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requirements for testing water quality within eight hours of sampling. Treatment systems will be coupled with sensing systems for measuring physical, chemical and biological constituents including: temperature, pH, salinity (ions), dissolved oxygen, nitrate and phosphate, and fecal bacteria, and integrated into an internet of things wireless decision support system. Economic feasibility will be evaluated across various spatial scales (from individual farms to regions) for growers in 4 key regions of the US with varying drought conditions (Florida, Texas, Iowa and Maryland) and three types of alternative water sources (treated domestic wastewater, brackish groundwater, and surface water that does not meet regulatory requirements). Through laboratory testing and field case studies, SmartPath will develop and validate water treatment systems and increase the use of alternative water for irrigation of fresh produce, decreasing freshwater withdrawals and closing basin water gaps. SmartPath will train a transdisciplinary cohort of 12 graduate students and 20 undergraduate students. They anticipate reaching at least 1,000 stakeholders through integrated extension, research, and education efforts. Their project has received significant press coverage and parts of the work already have been adopted by producers. (M) Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): Fiscal Year (FY) 2018: No program funds were used for INFEWS. INFEWS program funds were reallocated to cover the shortages in the AFRI Water for Food Productions continuation awards. (N) AFRI - Education and Workforce Development (EWD): • REEU: Projects were funded that promote research and extension learning experiences for undergraduates Successful proposals enhanced the capacity of institutions to produce graduates with skills needed to address challenges of the 21st Century in the Food, Agricultural, Natural Resources, and Human (FANH) sciences, including skills related to the Food and Agriculture Cyber informatics and Tools (FACT) initiative • PD-STEP: Projects were funded that increase the number of K-14 teachers and educational professionals trained in the FANH sciences. Successful proposals developed pathways to identify and replicate best practices to engage youth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields within the FANH sciences. Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships: Projects were funded that will develop the next generation of leaders who will be actively engaged in agriculture, forestry, and food related research, education, and extension careers. Successful proposals focused on developing the next generation of scientists who will lead agriculture into the future by solving current and future challenges facing our society. The awarded projects also targeted talented, highly-motivated doctoral candidates and postdoctoral trainees that demonstrate remarkable promise and demonstrated the ability to increase the number of gifted agricultural professionals in the United States. (O) AFRI - Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS): FY 2018 awards include the following selected examples: • Oilseed Pennycress - A new cash cover-crop for the Midwest; • Increasing Water Productivity, Nutrient Efficiency and Soil Health in Rainfed Food Systems of Semi-Arid Southern Great Plains; • Empowering US Broiler Production for Transformation and Sustainability; and • Enhancing the Sustainability of US Cropping Systems through Cover Crops and an Innovative Information and Technology Network. (P) Comparative and Evolutionary Genomics Research for Accelerated Animal Breeding (Joint NIH Project) (aka CEG): This program was not funded in Fiscal Year 2018. (Q) Cyber-Physical System Program (Interagency Solicitation): Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 - Selected Examples of Funded Projects: • CPS: Medium: Multimodal Sensing for Early Detection and Real-Time Correction of Water Stress and Nutritional Needs in Plants; • CPS: Medium: Collaborative Research: Closed Loop Sustainable Precision Animal Agriculture; • CPS: Medium: Robust Deep Learning and Decision making for Mechanical Weeding Agbots; • CPS: Medium: Multi-Scale Planning in Robot Teams for Persistent Monitoring and Intervention in Precision Grazing; and • CPS: Medium: SMART IRRIGATION - Big Data approach for accurate water stress detection and precision irrigation in fruit crops. (R) National Robotics Initiative: Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Examples of the funded projects: • NRI: FDN: Machine Vision Robotic Systems for Automated Disassembling Crab Complex Compartments and Extracting Meats Extent Able To Large Scale Food And Post-Harvest Processing; • NRI: INT: Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Robots for Livestock Health Monitoring; and • NRI: INT: Multi-Robot Farming on Marginal, Highly, Sloped Lands. (S) Joint NIFA/NSF Plant and Animal Microbiome – DCL (aka EAGERS): The Fiscal Year 2018 Awards were not finalized. Pertinent details will be provided by Program in FY 2019. (T) NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program (PBI): Below are selected examples of FY 2018 awards: • Analysis and Engineering of Plant Immune Receptors; • Role of Epigenomics and Gene Expression in the Regulation of Immune Responses to White Pine Blister Rust in Sugar Pine; • Susceptibility to Bacterial Leaf Streak Mediated by a Putative Sulfate Transporter in Rice: Mechanism and Intervention; and • Temporal Control of Immunity to Powdery Mildew in Barley. (U) Signals in the Soil (SitS) Program: N/A – Joint program was not funded until FY 2019. The listing below represents AFRI Programs which have not been recently funded. Hence, no further action is required (N/A/N) for the following Programs: (A) Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change; (B) Food Security; (C) Food Safety; (E) Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI); NOTE: Formerly known as AFRI Fellowships. (F) Childhood Obesity Prevention; (H) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (Joint Project with NSF, NIH, USDA and UK BBSRC); (L) International Wheat Yield Partnership; and Integrated Biorefinery Optimization (Joint Project with DOE).
Fiscal Year 2019 Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 – ACTIVE Programs: (D) AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: The FY 2017 Sustainable Bioenergy Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP) continued work in FY 2019. • The Southeast Partnership for Advanced Renewables from Carinata (SPARC) is developing a resilient Brassica carinata based biofuel and bioproduct supply chain in the Southeast, from feedstock development to distribution to end user. • The Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions (SBAR) is a multi-level research project that will cultivate two desert-dwelling crops, guayule and guar, for a sustainable bioeconomy. (G) AFRI: Foundational and Applied Sciences Program: For the FY 2019 award cycle, $192,585,000 will be used to fund applications submitted to the 35 individual programs under AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program solicitation. Currently, programs are either receiving applications or preparing for the review of the submitted applications. Thus, the information will not be available and will be provided in a future date. (I) Joint Plant Feedstock: N/A – Additional funding is not anticipated for this Program. (J) AFRI: Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area (WFPS): The FY 2019 funding levels were established by Congressional Appropriations. The WFPS Challenge Area was not picked up by USDA-NIFA for funding in 2019. Post-award management was the only activity. No new awards are forthcoming. (M) Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): Fiscal Year (FY) 2019: NIFA is funding four (4) continuations awards for this program. NIFA funded $1.2 million to a university to research reducing resource use at the seafood-energy-water Nexus focusing on reducing waste and water in aquaculture and energy production. A $1.25 million Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) award to a university will support a project conducting research to sustain California's food production through integrated water and energy management. A university received $1.25 million to develop process-based model that support sustainable irrigation across the United States. A university received $1.24 million to develop new photovoltaic chemistry for greenhouse that would collect the wavelengths of light not need for plant production for solar which would heat the greenhouse and recycle water in a closed loop, self-sustaining system. (N) AFRI - Education and Workforce Development (EWD): Once awards are executed, information will be available at https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-agriculture-natural-resources. Projects funded will support: • Institutional grants for in-service training, which will provide K-14 teachers and administrators with increased knowledge of food and agricultural science disciplines and career opportunities, and help them to develop improved curricula to enhance agricultural literacy; • Institutional grants that offer curriculum development for industry-based training programs/apprenticeships allowing students to ‘earn while they learn’ and for new job-based, experiential learning opportunities that allow students more time working in job simulation or ‘on-the-job’ training environments. Refreshing existing workforce development curriculum to meet the needs of 21st century agricultural industry at the community/technical college level/. • Institutional grants that offer internships, externships, practicums, global leadership, study abroad, and/or experiential learning opportunities in research and extension, which will help undergraduates develop the critical thinking, problem solving, digital competency, international experiences, and communication skills needed for future employment and/or higher education; • Fellowships for predoctoral candidates and postdoctoral scholars. (O) AFRI - Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS): NIFA is currently receiving applications to this program, It is anticipated that this program will receive about 60 applications and NIFA intends to fund nine (9) applications. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date. (P) Comparative and Evolutionary Genomics Research for Accelerated Animal Breeding (Joint NIH Project) (aka CEG): This program did not make new awards based on panel rankings. (Q) Cyber-Physical System Program (Interagency Solicitation): Panel is scheduled and thus, there are no grant selections as yet. The Fiscal Year 2019 Awards have not yet been finalized. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date. (R) National Robotics Initiative: Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 - Examples of the funded projects: • NRI: INT: COLLAB: Rumen Understanding through Millipede-Engineered Navigation and Sensing (RUMENS); • NRI:INT: Multipurpose Dexterous Soft and Continuum Arms for Compact Ag-bots; • NRI: INT: COLLAB: An autonomous insect Sense, Identify, and Manage PLatform (SIMPL) to advance crop protection strategies; • NRI: INT: COLLAB: Collaborative Autonomy and Safety for Teamed Human-Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Fast Evolving Wildfire Environment; and • NRI: INT: Hybrid Aerial/Underwater Robotic System (HAUCS) for Scalable, Adaptable Maintenance of Aquaculture Fish Farms. (S) Joint NIFA/NSF Plant and Animal Microbiome – DCL (aka EAGERS): Fiscal Year (FY) 2019: Ten (10) projects have been awarded by NIFA in crop breeding. The following are selected examples of funded projects: • Breaking the wheat domestication bottleneck by interploidy hybridization. • Utilizing high throughtput phenotyping approaches to advance plant breeding. • Epi-TOM: The development and characterization of an EpiRIL TOMatopopulation. • Pathway to the Exploitation of Epigenetic Variation in UK, US and International Breeding Programmes. • Unified Big Data in Genomics and Phenomics for Plant Breeding. (T) NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program (PBI): NIFA anticipates that the funding available for the NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program in FY 2019 will be $7 million. (U) Signals in the Soil (SitS) Program: 1. Detecting soil degradation and restoration through a novel coupled sensor and machine learning framework 2. Dynamic coupling of soil structure and gas fluxes measured with distributed sensor systems: implications for carbon monitoring The listing below represents AFRI Programs which have not been recently funded. Hence, no further action is required (N/A/N) for the following Programs: (A) Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change; (B) Food Security; (C) Food Safety; (E) Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI); NOTE: Formerly known as AFRI Fellowships. (F) Childhood Obesity Prevention; (H) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (Joint Project with NSF, NIH, USDA and UK BBSRC); (L) International Wheat Yield Partnership; and Integrated Biorefinery Optimization (Joint Project with DOE).
Fiscal Year 2020 Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 – ACTIVE Programs: (D) AFRI: Sustainable Bioenergy: N/A – Additional funding is not anticipated for this Program. (G) AFRI: Foundational and Applied Sciences Program: Information is not yet available for FY 2020. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date. (I) Joint Plant Feedstock: N/A – Additional funding is not anticipated for this Program. (J) AFRI: Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area (WFPS): The FY 2020 funding levels have not yet been established by Congressional Appropriations. If this Program is supported by the Agency and funded in FY 2020, it is projected that the funding level would be comparable and the types of projects will be similar. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date. (M) Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS): NIFA will provide continuation funding to the FY 2019 projects. Four (4) projects totaling $5 million. (N) AFRI - Education and Workforce Development (EWD): Data is not yet available. Pertinent details to be provided by program at a future date. (O) AFRI - Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS): Information is not yet available for FY 2020. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date. (P) Comparative and Evolutionary Genomics Research for Accelerated Animal Breeding (Joint NIH Project) (aka CEG): It is projected that the program will make up to two (2) awards in the area of comparative genomics through identification of genome regions responsible for the traits related to animal health, nutrition, reproduction, and welfare. Pertinent data will be provided by Program at a future date. (Q) Cyber-Physical System Program (Interagency Solicitation): The FY 2020 funding levels have not yet been established by Congressional Appropriations. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date. (R) National Robotics Initiative: The FY 2020 funding levels have not yet been established by Congressional Appropriations. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date. (S) Joint NIFA/NSF Plant and Animal Microbiome – DCL (aka EAGERS): This program is sunset in FY 2020. Thus, no information is available. Pertinent information will be provided by Program at a future date. (T) NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program (PBI): NIFA projects that the funding available for the NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program in FY 2020 will be $8 million. (U) Signals in the Soil (SitS) Program: It is anticipated that NIFA will support funding for three (3) awards. The listing below represents AFRI Programs which have not been recently funded. Hence, no further action is required (N/A/N) for the following Programs: (A) Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change; (B) Food Security; (C) Food Safety; (E) Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI); NOTE: Formerly known as AFRI Fellowships. (F) Childhood Obesity Prevention; (H) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (Joint Project with NSF, NIH, USDA and UK BBSRC); (L) International Wheat Yield Partnership; and Integrated Biorefinery Optimization (Joint Project with DOE).