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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #13-002
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SACRAMENTO, January 14, 2013 – The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) is currently accepting concept proposals for the 2013 grant cycle. FREP’s competitive grant program funds research that advances the environmentally safe and agronomically sound use of fertilizing materials.

“California’s agricultural community has invested in fertilizer research through FREP for more than 20 years, and our farmers know how valuable this work not just to their yields but also to the important ecological balance on their farms,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “We look forward to reviewing a fresh crop of concepts that take stock of our most recent advancements and discoveries about fertilizer use and demonstrate how they can produce real-world results in our fields.”

The 2013 Request for Proposals (RFP) is consistent with several new initiatives put forth by the department to help effectively manage nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture.  FREP is encouraging the development and submission of concepts that demonstrate experimental research trial data (e.g., prior FREP research findings) at the field scale in organic and conventional fertilizers.  Other priority research areas are to evaluate strategies and potential technologies to increase crop nitrogen fertilizer uptake while reducing its movement off irrigated agricultural lands including minimizing nitrate movement below the root zone and minimizing nitrous oxide emissions related to fertilizer use.  Additionally, as in previous years, FREP seeks concepts on developing Best Management Practices (BMPs) along with proposals to provide education and outreach opportunities on effectively and efficiently managing fertilizing materials.

Applicants are invited to submit two-page concept proposals to FREP by February 15, 2013. Concepts submitted should be in line with at least one of the program’s identified priority research areas. Further information on the 2013 FREP request for concept proposals including timelines, application criteria, and priority research areas is available at:
Concept proposals will be reviewed by FREP’s Technical Advisory Subcommittee and a limited number will be selected and invited for development into a full project proposals.

Applicants may also send e-mail inquiries to

Since 1990, the Fertilizer Research and Education Program have funded more than 160 research projects focusing on California’s important and environmentally sensitive cropping systems. A database of completed and ongoing research is publically available at:


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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814