Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Program
The Biologically Integrated Farming Systems program is now accepting applications.
|Request for proposals released||28 August 2019|
|Deadline to submit questions||14 October 2019|
|Grant proposals due||31 October 2019|
|Proposal evaluation period||November 2019|
|Award announcement||mid-December 2019|
|Project implementation||March 2020|
The goal of the revitalized Biologically Integrated Farming Systems grant program is to provide outreach of innovative, biologically integrated plant-based farming systems that reduce chemical insecticide inputs. CDFA is responsible for supporting agricultural production in California by fostering innovative, efficient and scientifically sound practices. Projects from this program should demonstrate IPM-based alternative pest management options that focus on economical and efficacious biological and cultural pest management techniques that allow growers to maintain yields and quality.
The previous Biologically Integrated Farming System (BIFS) program ran from 1995 to 2010 with a focus on fostering farmer-to-farmer information exchange and on-farm demonstration of integrated farming practices that promote IPM and biological systems for pest and nutrient management while allowing growers to maintain profitable businesses. Originally a project of Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), it transitioned to a grant program administered by the University of California (UC) Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP), based at UC Davis. The program received supplemental funding and cooperation from DPR and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Funding for this type of innovative biologically based pest management approach is awarded through a request for proposals. Links to the current RFP can be found in the Program Status section.
Questions and Answers
Questions may be submitted until 14 October 2019. Answers will be posted as soon as possible after they are received.
Q: Is an individual grower eligible to apply?
A: While individual growers are not eligible to apply as a project lead, they are encouraged to collaborate with eligible organizations. See the Project Eligibility section for more detail.
Q: How much focus in project evaluation will be placed on historic chlorpyrifos use (and other organophosphate use)?
A: Crops that have previously relied on chlorpyrifos are a priority; however we will consider any project that promotes practices that reduce chemical insecticide inputs, especially non-selective, biologically disruptive insecticides, with higher risk to human health and/or the environment.
Q: Will applications involving the reduction of pesticides other than insecticides be considered (i.e., fumigants, fungicides, herbicides, etc.)?
A: Projects will be considered if they promote insect pest management practices which result in the reduction of chemical pesticides, even if the pesticides involved are not strictly insecticides, i.e., some chemicals may control a suite of pests that include insects.
Q: Would a similar project site funded by the CDFA HSP Demonstration Project be eligible for this grant program?
A: A project that shares the same location with a previously funded project such as a CDFA HSP (Healthy Soil Program) would be eligible for funding through the BIFS program if that project aligns with the priorities laid out in the RFP (i.e., demonstrating and refining IPM-based farming projects designed to reduce chemical insecticide inputs). BIFS funding should supplement, not supplant, existing funds.
Q: Could these funds be considered matching funds for the CDFA HSP Demonstration Project?