Ag department taking grant applications for soil program


July 29, 2020

Courtesy photo: New Mexico Department of Agriculture

Cattle roam on a New Mexico ranch. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is accepting Healthy Soil Program project grant proposals from eligible entities through Oct. 3.

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is accepting grant applications for its Healthy Soil Program, which was created in the 2019 Healthy Soil Act.

The act's purpose is to promote and support farming and ranching systems and other forms of land management that increase soil organic matter, aggregate stability, microbiology and water retention to improve the soil health, yield and profitability.

New Mexico farmers and ranchers interested in applying must do so by 5 p.m. Aug. 31 through an eligible entity such as a soil and water conservation district; a tribe, nation or pueblo; or a land grant or acequia.

Eligible entities will conduct preliminary reviews of applications they receive, then forward approved applications to NMDA by Oct. 8.

Eligible entities also are invited to apply to NMDA on their behalf; such applications are due Oct. 8.

Late applications will not be accepted.

Grant funding may be used for agricultural projects that focus on one or more of five basic soil-health principles: keeping the soil covered; minimizing soil disturbance on cropland; maximizing biodiversity; maintaining a living root; and integrating animals into land management.

NMDA recommends farmers and ranchers who intend to apply make themselves known as soon as possible to the eligible entity through which they intend to apply.

For more information or to download an application, visit or call (575) 646-2642.


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