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 2015-2016 budget cycle, with $500,000 approved from the TVA Settlement Fund for projects specific to Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey counties.
The remaining $500,000 will be available for projects statewide, with more than $364,000 available for new projects. Over $135,000 has been designated to multi-year projects that were started with the 2014-2015 grant cycle.
The 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 biofuels production. The deadline to submit proposals is Oct. 30.
“North Carolina has tremendous natural and human resources when it comes to our forestry resources, our agricultural know-how and our outstanding research universities,” Troxler said. “By bringing these resources together, I believe we can create new opportunities for agriculture and forestry in the renewable-fuel sector.”
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 and intercropping; and education and demonstration.
Individual applications should not exceed $100,000 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. 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/Forms.htm.