ASF Sustainable Research Program: Request for Continued Funding


Agronomic Science Foundation LogoThe Agronomic Science Foundation (ASF) requests proposals for continued funding for existing innovative research projects involving cover crops and related management practices integrated into agronomic crop rotations within areas of agricultural concentration in the United States including, but not limited to, the Mississippi River Basin.

Research Priorities: The ASF Sustainable Research Program (ASF-SRP) intends to support cooperative research projects that emphasize sustainable intensification of crop production. Projects are sought that advance our knowledge of agricultural systems aimed at increasing productivity, while minimizing impact on ecosystems services and the environment. Current funding priorities include:

  1. Impact of cover crops on biogeochemical cycling of water and nutrients and soil function/ecology
  2. Strategies to improve nutrient use efficiency in agroecosystems
  3. Innovative approaches to improve water use efficiency of crop plants
  4. Meta-analyses aimed at quantifying the impact of current sustainable practices on agricultural production, processes, economics and sustainability metrics
  5. Other research aimed at improving sustainable intensification of key agronomic crops

Critical information needed to advance our understanding of the role of cover crops on agricultural productivity and environmental quality will be obtained through the collaboration between agricultural scientists (academia) and innovative producers. Establishing an extensive network of field experiments is essential to demonstrate how improved agricultural systems function and to establish grower confidence in adopting sustainable management practices. 

The research projects will initially focus on the function and effects of cover crops on soil and crop productivity, input use efficiency, and environmental quality. In the Midwest agricultural region, producers are showing acute interest in integrating cover crops into crop rotations common to the region and to evaluate cover crops in alternative crop rotations. Cumulative results from the ASF-SRP will be readily scalable, bring a new dimension on agricultural systems thinking, and address many concerns regarding agricultural sustainability in the region. 

Funding: Only continuing proposals of previously funded projects will be considered in this year's funding cycle. Multiyear projects are eligible for continued ASF funding, but a renewal proposal and progress report will be required for each year of ASF support. If project is funded in the first year, future funding is not guaranteed, however, the intent of ASF is to continue supporting projects showing acceptable progress through the proposed date of completion. For continuing projects, a progress report for the previous year must be included with the continuing proposal. Funding of continuing proposals depend upon receipt of progress reports that clearly document accomplishments and need for continuation of the research. There is no guarantee of continued funding for multiyear projects.

Additional input and networking contributions: ASF is working in partnership with Monsanto on this sustainability initiative. Monsanto has pledged to provide cover crops seeds, crop seeds (corn and soybeans) and the chemicals required to manage the plots for at least 3 years. Monsanto will also pay for soil analysis of all involved fields.

Reporting and Confidentiality: Confidential matters should not be included in proposals or reports since reports may be shared with ASF Board of Directors and donors of the ASF Sustainable Research program. Data generated by the ASF-SRP projects must be submitted with appropriate metadata in an open access data repository e.g., National Agricultural Library (, Dryad ( within 12 months of the conclusion of the study. Any costs for depositing data should be included in the project budget.

Review Process: The ASF-SRP Technical Advisory Committee will evaluate each proposal. For additional information contact:
Technical and programmatic issues: Jeff Volenec, 765-494-8071,
Administrative issues: Sara Uttech, 608-268-4948,

Nominations Opened: Mar 1, 2017 - 8:00 AM CST
Nominations initiated by: Apr 6, 2017 - 4:00 PM CDT
Final Nomination submission by: Apr 6, 2017 - 4:00 PM CDT


View Award Committee members
View ASA Board of Directors
View CSSA Board of Directors
View SSSA Board of Directors


  1. Only Previously funded projects are eligible to apply for continued funding.



  1. Project Title
    Provide a brief, concise description of the proposed work.
  2. Principal Investigators and Cooperators
    Names, titles, complete contact information (physical location, email, phone) for project leaders and cooperators. (Character Limit, including spaces: 3000)
  3. Budget & Progress Report (PDF Upload)
    Upload the following as one PDF document (max file size 12MB): 1. BUDGET: Itemize proposed budget into personnel (FTE, salaries, and fringe benefits), materials and supplies, soil/plant analysis and other services costs, equipment, publication, and travel to conduct the research. Total annual funding requests are limited to $20,000 including indirect costs of 7.5% of total direct costs. Provide written justification for requested budget items. 2. PROGRESS REPORT: A progress report for the previous year that clearly documents accomplishments and need for continuation of the research must be included.