Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive Grants Program

Funding Agency:
US Department of Agriculture

NIFA requests applications for the Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive Grants Program (SAC) for fiscal year (FY) 2019. The SAC supports projects that lead to expanded adaptation and increased acres in the U.S. of canola grown for oil and industrial hemp grown for value added products. This is an integrated research and extension program that will produce results to increase the cost effectiveness and competitiveness of these two crops grown as components of production systems across the country. The SAC supports the breeding, testing, and development of superior performing canola and industrial hemp varieties and production practices that result in improved cost efficiencies, reduced grower risks, and wider use in production systems. Research results and technology developed are expected to be rapidly transferred to producers and other users through effective extension outreach and other engagement efforts.

The anticipated grant amount available is approximately $1 million. These funds will provide support for canola: up to three region-based integrated canola research grants at $225,000 each. SAC is budgeted to fund one canola research project in a state not part of the three regions, up to $100,000. However, if one of the regional project is not fundable, SAC would fund additional state projects up to $100,000. SAC will also support one industrial hemp national needs research and extension conference/workshop up to $50,000. 

Deadline: May 31, 2019

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

NIFA is soliciting applications for the FY 2019 SAC under the following two areas:

A. Canola:

1. Testing germplasm and breeding to develop superior performing canola varieties that increase productivity, profitability, and adaptation to an expanded range of U.S. growing environments. And/or

2. Conducting fundamental and applied research and extension activities to develop innovative planting, cultivating, harvesting methods for use in production systems that include superior performing canola varieties to improve input cost efficiencies and reduce producer and other supply chain participant risks.

B. Industrial Hemp:

1. National research needs and extension assessment conference/workshop. Plan, conduct, and report on a national research and extension workshop to assess the needs of customers and stakeholders to get their opinions of what the science needs, research approaches, and effective private-public partnerships are needed to accelerate the sustainable development of a national industrial hemp industry. 

Eligibility Requirements

Only colleges and universities (as defined in section 1404 of NARETPA, 7 U.S.C. 3103), other Federal agencies, and private sector entities are eligible to submit applications. Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the conduct of the project. Failure to meet an eligibility criterion by the application deadline may result in the application being excluded from consideration or, even though an application may be reviewed, will preclude NIFA from making an award. 



Amount Description

The anticipated amount available for SAC grants in FY 2019 is approximately $1 million. The project budget cannot exceed a maximum of $225,000 for one each Canola Regional Integrated Research and Extension Projects (RIREP) for each region, and $100,000 for Canola Projects in Other States (POS projects), including indirect costs. The project period for Canola REIREP or POS projects can be up to three years. Funding for one National Industrial Hemp Research Needs and Extension Assessment Conference/Workshop cannot exceed $50,000 and the project must be completed within one year of the award date. There is no commitment by USDA to fund any particular application or to make a specific number of awards. 

Funding Type





Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

May 31, 2019