The N.C. Bioenergy Research Initiative is seeking grant proposals focused on research and development of agricultural and forestry-based feedstocks for bioenergy production, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced.
The N.C. General Assembly approved $1 million in funding for the 2016-2017 budget cycle. Nearly $74,000 has been committed to multi-year projects that were started with the 2015-2016 grant cycle, leaving over $926,000 for new and existing projects.
The grants are designed to focus on projects that boost energy production from North Carolina agricultural and forestry products, offer new opportunities for agribusiness development and support cooperative research for bioenergy production. The deadline to submit proposals is Sept. 30.
“Agriculture and agribusiness remains our leading industry in part because it has diversified, adapted and expanded to meet growing consumer needs,” Troxler said. “Research has created new opportunities along the way, and we will continue to look to research as we work to grow our state’s agriculture and forestry industries.”
Projects can focus on production and harvesting methods and plant variety work, including genetic improvement and selection; establishment methods; weed management; nutrient uptake, usage and removal; harvest management such as methods, timing, transporting and storage; stand management such as renovation for productivity, planting dates, crop management and eradication when necessary; physiology, growth and development of biomass energy crops; new species with bioenergy potential; multiple crop production practices such as crop rotation, double cropping and intercropping; establishing short-rotation wood crops in a clear-cut environment; and education and demonstration.
Individual applications should not exceed $150,000 in direct funding from the grant program. Project coordinators can submit multiple applications if there are enough differences in the proposed projects to warrant separate consideration. For a grant application or more information, contact Allison Medlin with the N.C. Bioenergy Research Initiative at 919-693-2483 or go to www.ncagr.gov/bioenergy/2017GrantProgram.htm.