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Application deadline is Sept. 29

RALEIGH – The N.C. Bioenergy Research Initiative is seeking grant proposals focused on research and development of agricultural and forestry-based feedstocks for bioenergy production, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced.

The N.C. General Assembly approved $1 million in funding for the 2017-2018 budget cycle. Nearly $242,275 has been committed to multi-year projects that were started with the 2016-2017 grant cycle, leaving over $757,725 for new and existing projects.

These grants are designed to focus on projects that boost energy production from North Carolina agricultural and forestry products, offer new opportunities for agribusiness development and support cooperative research for bioenergy production.

“Our state’s continued investment in agricultural research has helped maintain agriculture and agribusiness’ strength as our leading industry,” Troxler said. “Research has led to new opportunities for growers, improved production methods and increased yields. We will continue to look to research as we work to grow our state’s agriculture and forestry industries.”

Projects can focus on production and harvesting methods and plant variety work, including:

*genetic improvement and selection;
*establishment methods;
*weed management;
*nutrient uptake, usage and removal;
*harvest management, such as methods, timing, transporting and storage;
*stand management, such as renovation for productivity, planting dates, crop management and  eradication when necessary;
*physiology, growth and development of biomass energy crops;
*new species with bioenergy potential;
*multiple-crop production practices, such as crop rotation, double cropping and intercropping;
*establishing short-rotation wood crops in a clear-cut environment;
*economic analysis and enterprise budgeting;
*education and demonstration.

Individual applications should not exceed $150,000 in direct funding from the grant program. Project coordinators can submit multiple applications if there are enough differences in the proposed projects to warrant separate consideration. Special consideration may be given to multi-year projects that warrant funding in excess of $150,000. The deadline to submit proposals is Sept. 29. For a grant application or more information, contact Allison Medlin with the N.C. Bioenergy Research Initiative at 919-693-2483 or go to www.ncagr.gov/bioenergy/Grants .

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