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Minnesota Corn Growers looking to fund research projects

In 2016, to increase grassroots involvement in the research process, Minnesota Corn began offering Innovation Grants at the student and farmer level.

Corn Tour still 4.jpg
Corn on the John Swanson farm near Mentor in northwest Minnesota was entering the dent stage on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022.
Trevor Peterson / Agweek
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The Minnesota Corn Grower’s Association is looking for research ideas it can help fund in 2023.

The group’s Innovation Grant Program is taking applications through Jan. 6.

The program provides farmers, agriculture students, and scientists grants to research innovative corn-production practices on the farm.

Innovation Grant projects must be in one of five categories: new uses, methods to improve nutrient use efficiency in corn production, comparative tillage innovations, economic and management innovations, or production practices that enhance water and air quality or improve biodiversity.

Applications must include a project synopsis, deliverables, budget, and other components. Minnesota Corn will notify applicants of funding decisions by March 1.

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For years, Minnesota Corn has provided university-level researchers with grants to study ways to increase on-farm sustainability and profitability. In 2016, to increase grassroots involvement in the research process, Minnesota Corn began offering Innovation Grants at the student and farmer level.

Preference will be given to novel projects that are not replications of previously funded projects. A list of previous Innovation Grants is available https://www.mncorn.org/research/innovation-grants/.

For farmers and students, the program has three funding options. For those who have previously received funding, they can apply for a Level 1 grant to host a field day to showcase their project. For those who haven’t received funding, or who want to continue an existing project, they can apply for a Level 2 or a Level 3 grant.

A Level 2 grant provides a student or farmer up to $7,000 to test a novel corn-production practice on at least 20 acres. Level 2 grants are for one year, but applicants are asked to consider how they might extend their experiment to up to three years.

A level 3 grant is for up to $30,000. Proposals must include a statistical design, plans for data collection and statistics analysis, and must involve three growing seasons. Level 3 projects are expected to include replicated farm-scale trials with publishable results that have the potential as proof-of-concept research toward broad adoption of a technique or practice focused on priorities listed in the RFP.

For both Level 2 and Level 3 grants, farmers and students are expected to collaborate with a soil and water conservation district, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, a university, or other agency.

Only professional researchers can apply for a Level 4 grant. These grants provide them with up to $15,000 to test an innovative or novel scientific approach or develop a preliminary data set to help get greater funding for a project related to improving the sustainability or profitability of corn production. Researchers must work directly with a farmer on a project.

To learn more about the Minnesota Corn Innovation Grant Program or to apply, go to https://mncorn.smapply.io/prog/rfp_for_2023_innovation_grant_program_/ .

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Or for more information, contact Minnesota Corn Research Director Maciej Kazula at mkazula@mncorn.org .

Related Topics: MINNESOTAAGRICULTURE RESEARCHAGRICULTURECROPSCORN
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