Fertilizer Research and Education Program 2021

Portal ID:
Closed (20 total applications submitted)
Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
Last Updated:



Proposals must focus on at least one of the priority areas and may focus on research and/or education projects to provide growers and industry with cost-effective practices to improve the efficient use of fertilizer and minimize environmental impacts. All projects should have strong scientific merit. Research projects must include outreach to end-users. Outreach and education projects should include measures of impact.


FREP invites research and education project proposals in three priority areas: Improving Input Management, Understanding Soil-Plant Processes, and Characterizing Loss Pathways.


A. Demonstrating and/or Validating Management Practices that Optimize Nutrient and/or Irrigation Water Use
Innovative management practices must be implemented on farms to promote agriculture sustainability and address agricultural challenges in California. Extension efforts that improve management practices and help implement efficient nutrient management practices on growers’ fields are a high priority.

B. Addressing Challenges and Barriers to Adoption of Management Practices
A variety of money and time-saving management practices that improve environmental outcomes, with respect to N loss, are available; however, many of these practices have not been adopted on a large scale. Research focused on addressing barriers to widespread adoption of improved management practices could include:

C. Education and Outreach (Technical Education)
The implementation of optimal irrigation and nutrient management practices depends on skilled and knowledgeable growers, managers, and field staff. Technical trainings and education can increase grower and field staff knowledge leading to improvements in on-farm management practices. Development of educational and/or certification programs to improve nitrogen and irrigation management are encouraged.


A. Filling Knowledge Gaps for Nitrogen Management in Specific Crops

B. The Role of Organic Input Materials in Soil Nutrient Management
Across California, organic materials are applied to agricultural soils to improve physical, chemical and biological properties of soil. More information on the plant-available nitrogen from organic sources is needed for management decisions, and to help growers estimate mineralization rates for nitrogen budgeting. These organic materials include, but are not limited to, wood chips from whole orchard recycling, nitrogen-containing soil amendments, and organic fertilizers.


A. Understanding Nitrogen Movement from the Root Zone

B. Mitigation Strategies to Reduce Nitrogen Losses
There are technologies and practices that may mitigate nitrogen losses via various loss pathways. Research is needed to better understand the technologies and strategies that can minimize N losses and maximize nitrogen use efficiency.


Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Business
  • Individual
  • Nonprofit
  • Public Agency
  • Tribal Government

All applicant types are eligible for concept proposal submission.

Eligible Geographies:

Concept proposals may originate from outside California, but at least some of the work must be performed in California, and all the work must be relevant to California agriculture.

Important Dates

The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantmaker. Time listed as “00:00” equates to midnight.
The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
October 2021
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
Jan 1, 22-Dec 31, 24

Funding Details

The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
A single grant opportunity may represent one or many awards. Some grantors may know in advance the exact number of awards to be given. Others may indicate a range. Some may wish to and wait until the application period closes before determining how many awards to offer; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
5 – 12
Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
$10,000 – $225,000
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Yes ( see Description for details )
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.
The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • State

Funding Source Notes:

This grant is funded entirely by an assessment on the sales of fertilizers in California.

The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Reimbursement(s)

Funding Method Notes:

Grant funding of $75,000 per year for up to three years is typical for projects. Projects requesting more than $75,000 per year and lasting longer than three years will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Concept proposals leveraging other sources of funding are strongly encouraged and are welcomed.

How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.


For questions about this grant, contact:
1-916-900-5022, FREP@cdfa.ca.gov