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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

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

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #23-187
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SACRAMENTO, October 31, 2023 – The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) is now accepting pre-proposals for the 2024 grant cycle. 

FREP’s competitive grant program funds proposals that advance fertilization and irrigation practices and minimize environmental impacts of fertilizing materials. The 2024 Request for Pre-Proposals includes several initiatives put forth by the department to help effectively manage irrigation water and fertilizing materials in California agriculture. 

California’s agricultural communities are diverse, and many have historically lacked access to resources and information needed to successfully run their businesses. Thus, CDFA encourages projects that include demonstrable benefits for socially disadvantaged farmers and farmworkers. Socially disadvantaged groups include those whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender discrimination.

FREP’s funding priorities include: outreach, education, demonstration and research projects focused on increasing the adoption of efficient nutrient and irrigation management practices and technologies; evaluating challenges and barriers to adoption of management practices; the role of organic input materials in soil nutrient management; validating management practices that optimize nutrient and/or irrigation efficiencies; filling knowledge gaps for nutrient and irrigation management in specific crops; understanding nutrient movement from the root zone; and mitigation strategies to reduce nutrient losses.           

Applicants are invited to submit pre-proposals to FREP by Monday, December 18, 2023. Pre-proposals submitted must align with at least one of the identified priority areas and utilize the pre-proposal template. Further information, including timelines, templates, application criteria and priority project areas are available on the Grant Program web page at

All pre-proposals will be reviewed by the CDFA Fertilizer Inspection Advisory Board’s Technical Advisory Subcommittee (TASC). Applicants whose pre-proposals are selected by TASC will be invited to develop full proposals.

A grant application workshop will take place via Zoom video conference 1-2 pm November 20, 2023. The workshop will highlight the application process and timeline and provide applicants with the opportunity to ask questions. Register for the FREP Grant Application Workshop at:
For more information and questions, please email



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