Fertilizer Research and Education Program
Each year, FREP solicits proposals for outreach, education, demonstration, and research projects related to the environmentally safe and agronomically sound use and handling of fertilizing materials.
Grant funding of $75,000 per year for up to three years is available for outreach, education, demonstration, and/or research projects addressing funding priorities. Proposals may originate from outside of California, but all project work must be relevant to California agriculture. FREP does not support proprietary product development, testing or promotions.
2024 Grant Cycle: Now Open!
The 2024 grant cycle is now open. Please review the 2024 Request for Pre-Proposals to learn more about the application process and requirements. Please note, all applicants must use the 2024 Pre-Proposal Template. For questions about the application process or requirements please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Regular Request for Pre-Proposals (RFP) has a two-phase annual process. Phase I is the submission and review of pre-proposals. After pre-proposals are reviewed, selected projects are invited to Phase II, the submission and review of full proposals.
Each year, new funding priorities are outlined in the Request for Pre-Proposals (RFP), released in November. The two-page pre-proposals are due in December. The Technical Advisory Subcommittee (TASC) reviews the received pre-proposals and recommends select pre-proposals for advancement to Phase II of the process. Announcement of the TASC's decision is made in February.
Examples of successful pre-proposals:
- Yield Prediction for Seasonal N Fertilization Strategies in California’s Almond Orchards
Project Leaders: Yufang Jin and Patrick Brown
- Promoting the Adoption of CropManage to Optimize Nitrogen and Irrigation Use through Low-Cost Data Loggers and Cellular Modems for Spanish-Speaking Growers
Project Leaders: Gerry Spinelli and Michael Cahn
- Develop Nutrient Budget and Nutrient Demand Model for Nitrogen Management in Cherry
Project Leaders: Patrick Brown and Douglas Amaral
In the competitive grant process, project leaders who are invited to submit full proposals advance to the second phase. Full proposals are due in April. Full proposals are evaluated by TASC members who are subject matter experts and decide which projects to recommend to the Fertilizer Inspection Advisory Board (FIAB). The FIAB meets to discuss the TASC recommendations for final approval. Grant agreements are initiated in the fall and take effect on January 1.
Requirements for Grantees
Annual reports cover progress made during the first twelve months of a project and successive annual periods thereafter. One annual report is due within 30 days of the end of the covered reporting period for the duration of the grant agreement.
Final reports cover progress made during the entirety of the project and are due within 30 days of the termination of the grant agreement. Final reports must include data, results, and discussion from all years of the project to form a comprehensive and stand-alone document.
Invoices are due no later than 30 calendar days after the end of the invoice period. Final invoices are due no later than 30 calendar days following the expiration date of the Grant Agreement term or after the project is complete, whichever comes first.
Invoices submitted before the completion of interpretive summaries, annual, or final reports will not be paid until the interpretive summaries/reports have been received, reviewed, and accepted by FREP staff. CDFA cannot reimburse the project leader for work performed before the start date of the grant or for work performed after the expiration date on the grant or grant extension. CDFA withholds 10% of total funds, which are released after FREP staff review and approve the final report and confirm fulfilment of project deliverables.
FREP funded projects must complete at least three outreach activities per year. Some examples of outreach activities include grower field days, workshops, meetings, and trade journal articles. Grantees are required to notify FREP staff of upcoming outreach activities via email at least two weeks prior to the event. FREP staff will use this information to publicize the event via the FREP website, CDFA press release, or other media. Notify FREP staff of upcoming outreach activities by emailing FREP@cdfa.ca.gov.
Project leaders are required to prepare a brief (three to five page) interpretive summary annually for the duration of the grant agreement. These interpretive summaries are collected and published in the annual FREP Conference Proceedings.
Grantees are also required to present project findings at least once at the annual FREP conference. FREP staff will contact grantees with presentation requests.