Alfalfa and Forage Research Program

To improve alfalfa and forage yield and seed yield of crops grown for propagation, improve persistence of plantings, reduce pest pressure for both forage and seed production, improve genetic quality of commercial cultivars and reduce losses during harvest and storage.


Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2013: FY 13 - Not applicable. Fiscal Year 2014: FY 14 - Not applicable. Represents FY 14 newly authorized and newly funded. Fiscal Year 2015: FY 15 - Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The Secretary may award competitive grants for collaborative projects that are mutually beneficial to the United States and other countries and encourage private sector involvement.



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

1) State agricultural experiment stations; (2) colleges and universities; (3) university research foundations; (4) other research institutions and organizations; (5) Federal agencies, (6) national laboratories; (7) private organizations or corporations; (8) individuals who are U.S.

citizens or permanent residents; and (9) any group consisting of 2 or more entities identified in (1) through (8).

Beneficiary Eligibility

1) State agricultural experiment stations; (2) colleges and universities; (3) university research foundations; (4) other research institutions and organizations; (5) Federal agencies, (6) national laboratories; (7) private organizations or corporations; (8) individuals who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents; and (9) any group consisting of 2 or more entities identified in (1) through (8).

Credentials/Documentation

A Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number must be obtained - A DUNS number is a unique number that identifies an organization. It has been adopted by the Federal government to help track how Federal grant money is distributed. If your organization does not have a DUNS number, call the special Dun & Bradstreet hotline at 1-866-705-5711 to receive one free of charge. You will receive a DUNS number within several days of your request. Please note, individual proprietorships (i.e. farmers, ranchers) can request and receive a DUNS number, but must register with Grants.gov as an organization, not as an individual. Registration with Central Contractor Registry (CCR) is required - The CCR is the central government repository for organizations working with the Federal government. If your organization is not already registered, identify the primary contact who should register your organization. When your organization registers with CCR, it will be required to designate an e-Business Point of Contact (e-Business POC). The e-Business POC authorizes individuals to submit grant applications on behalf of the organization and creates a special password called a Marketing Partner ID Number (M-PIN) to verify individuals authorized to submit grant applications for the organization. Visit the CCR Web site at http://www.ccr.gov to begin this process. It may take several days to collect the information needed for your organization s registration. The CCR Assistance Center can be reached at 888-227-2423. This information collection is approved under OMB Control No. 0524-0039, "NIFA Application Kit for Research and Extension Programs."
Applicants must furnish the information required in the request for applications (RFAs). Successful applicants recommended for funding must furnish the information and assurances requested during the award documentation process. These include, but are not limited to the following: Organizational Management Information - Specific management information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on a one time basis, with updates on an as needed basis, as part of the responsibility determination prior to the award of a grant identified under this RFA, if such information has not been provided previously under this or another NIFA program. NIFA will provide copies of forms recommended for use in fulfilling these requirements as part of the preaward process. Although an applicant may be eligible based on its status as one of these entities, there are factors which may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits under this program (e.g., debarment or suspension of an individual involved or a determination that an applicant is not responsible based on submitted organizational management information). This information collection is approved under OMB Circular Control No. 0524-0026, "Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Agriculture Regulations Assuring Civil Rights, Compliance and Organization Information.". This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

All RFAs are published on the Agency s website and Grants.gov.

Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process.

Please see the following Grants.gov link for more information: http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.

An environmental impact statement is required for this program.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Applications should be submitted as outlined in the RFA. Applications must follow the instructions provided per Grants.Gov and in the Agency guide to submitting applications via Grants.gov.

Award Procedures

Applications are subjected to a system of peer and merit review in accordance with section 103 of the Agricultural Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 1613) by a panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the NIFA Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) shall make grants to those responsible, eligible applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth in the RFA. Reviewers will be selected based upon training and experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields, taking into account the following factors: (a) The level of relevant formal scientific, technical education, or extension experience of the individual, as well as the extent to which an individual is engaged in relevant research, education, or extension activities; (b) The need to include as reviewers experts from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific, education, or extension fields; (c) The need to include as reviewers other experts (e.g., producers, range or forest managers/operators, and consumers) who can assess relevance of the applications to targeted audiences and to program needs; (d) The need to include as reviewers experts from a variety of organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and Federal agencies, private profit and non-profit organizations) and geographic locations;
(e) The need to maintain a balanced composition of reviewers with regard to minority and female representation and an equitable age distribution; and (f) The need to include reviewers who can judge the effective usefulness to producers and the general public of each application. Evaluation Criteria will be delineated in the RFA.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, Public Law 113-76, 7 U.S.C 5925.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 30 to 180 days. Specific details are provided in the Request for Applications (RFA) each fiscal year.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

Specific details are provided in the Request for Applications (RFA) each fiscal year.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The term of competitive project grants and/or cooperative agreements under this program may not exceed five (5) years. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Grantees are to submit initial project information and annual and summary reports to NIFA"s electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions of project outcomes and public access to information on federally funded projects.

The details of these reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions.

Details of annual and final technical reporting requirements also are included in the award terms and conditions.

No cash reports are required.

Grantees are to submit initial project information and annual and summary reports to NIFA"s electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions of project outcomes and public access to information on federally funded projects.

The details of these reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions.

Details of annual and final technical reporting requirements also are included in the award terms and conditions.

A final "Federal Financial Report" (SF-425) is due within 90 days of the expiration date of the grant and should be submitted to the Awards Management Division, Office of Grants and Financial Management at the address listed below, in accordance with instructions contained in 2 CFR 3430.55 (also refer to Section 3015.82 of the Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations).


Awards Management Division
Office of Grants and Financial Management
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
U.S.

Department of Agriculture
STOP 2271
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-2271
Telephone: (202) 401-4986.

Grantees are to submit initial project information and annual and summary reports to NIFA"s electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions of project outcomes and public access to information on federally funded projects.

The details of these reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions.

Details of annual and final technical reporting requirements also are included in the award terms and conditions.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records

In accordance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Non-profit Organizations [2 CFR 215, Subpart C, Section 215.53, (OMB Circular A-110)] grantees shall maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for authorized purposes. Grant-related records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and must be retained at least three (3) years. Records must be retained beyond the three-year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1500-0-1-352.

Obigations

(Project Grants) FY 13 $0; FY 14 est $1,250,262; and FY 15 est $0 - The difference between the appropriation and obligation numbers reflects legislatively authorized set-asides deducted as appropriate, and in some cases the availability of obligational authority from prior years.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

If minimum or maximum amounts of funding per competitive project grant or cooperative agreement are established, these will be announced in the annual program announcement or Request for Application (RFA).

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Several federal statutes and regulations apply to grant applications considered for review and to project grants awarded under this program. These include, but are not limited to:
2 CFR Part 220-Cost Principles for Educational Institutions (OMB Circular A-21).
2 CFR Part 225-Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments (OMB Circular A-87).
2 CFR Part 230-Cost Principles for Non-profit Organizations (OMB Circular A-122).
7 CFR Part 1, subpart A-USDA implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.
7 CFR Part 3-USDA implementation of OMB Circular No. A-129 regarding debt collection.
7 CFR Part 15, subpart A-USDA implementation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
7 CFR Part 331 and 9 CFR Part 121-USDA implementation of the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002.
7 CFR Part 3015-USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations, implementing OMB directives (i.e., OMB Circular Nos. A-21, A-87, and A-122, now codified at 2 CFR Parts 220, 225 and 230), and incorporating provisions of 31 U.S.C. 6301-6308 (formerly the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977, Pub. L. No. 95-224), as well as general policy requirements applicable to recipients of departmental financial assistance.
7 CFR Part 3016-USDA Implementation of Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments.
7 CFR Part 3017-USDA implementation of Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement).
7 CFR Part 3018-USDA implementation of Restrictions on Lobbying. Imposes prohibitions and requirements for disclosure and certification related to lobbying on recipients of federal contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and loans.
7 CFR Part 3019-USDA implementation of OMB Circular A-110, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Other Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit Organizations (2 CFR Part 215).
7 CFR Part 3021-USDA Implementation of Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Grants).
7 CFR Part 3022-Research Institutions Conducting USDA-Funded Extramural Research; Research Misconduct.
7 CFR Part 3052-USDA implementation of OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations.
7 CFR Part 3407-USDA procedures to implement the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended.
7 CFR 3430-Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-formula Financial Assistance Programs--General Award Administrative Provisions.
29 U.S.C. 794 (section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and 7 CFR Part 15b (USDA implementation of statute) -prohibiting discrimination based upon physical or mental handicap in federally-assisted programs.
35 U.S.C. 200 et seq. -Bayh Dole Act, controlling allocation of rights to inventions made by employees of small business firms and domestic nonprofit organizations, including universities, in federally-assisted programs (implementing regulations are contained in 37 CFR Part 401).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

USDA, NIFA, Deputy Director Institute of Food Production and Sustainability (IFPS), Division of Plant Systems - Production, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2250, Washington, District of Columbia 20250-2250 Phone: 202-401-5024 Fax: 202-401-1782

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Within guidelines established for the program as described in the RFAs.



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