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Grants to USA Agencies, IHEs, Research Institutions, Corporations,
Groups, and Individuals for Projects to Improve the Alfalfa Industry

Alfalfa Seed and Alfalfa Forage System Program (ASAFS)

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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

06/02/22 5:00 PM ET


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Grants to USA federal agencies, IHEs, research institutions, organizations, national laboratories, private corporations and foundations, groups, and individuals for projects that improve the alfalfa industry. Applicants must complete required registrations prior to submitting a proposal.

Alfalfa Seed and Alfalfa Forage System Program (ASAFS) will support the development of improved alfalfa forage and seed production systems. Proposals submitted to ASAFS should address one or more of the following priorities: (1) Improving alfalfa forage and seed yield through better nutrient, water and/or pest management; (2) Improving persistence of alfalfa stands by lessening biotic or abiotic stresses; (3) Improving alfalfa forage and seed harvesting and storage systems to optimize economic returns; (4) Improving estimates of alfalfa forage quality as an animal feed to increase forage usage in animal feeds; and/or (5) Breeding to address biotic and abiotic stresses that impact forage yield and persistence and the production of seed for propagation.

AFRP is an integrated research and extension program that supports technology transfer to improve overall agricultural productivity, profitability, and conservation of natural resources through conventional and organic alfalfa seed and forage production systems. AFRP encourages applicants to establish interdisciplinary and multi-location regional research and extension networks to address national priorities or regional science needs of the U.S. alfalfa industry. By bringing together expertise across multiple university, federal agency, and industry organizations and states, AFRP projects seek to enhance the effectiveness of limited state, federal, and industry resources and so produce greater long-lasting impacts.

In FY 2022, under Assistance Listing 10.330, AFRP will support the development of improved alfalfa seed and forage production systems, practices, and supporting technologies. NIFA is soliciting applications for FY 2022 under the following areas:

  1.  Increase alfalfa forage and seed yields and forage quality through improved management practices, plant breeding, and other strategies to reduce biotic and abiotic stresses and costs of production.
  2. Improve alfalfa forage and seed harvest and storage systems, including automation that reduces labor costs, to optimize economic returns to alfalfa producers as well as endusers including milk producers.
  3. Develop methods to estimate alfalfa forage yield and quality to support marketing as a livestock feed and instruments to reduce producer risks.
  4. Explore new uses for alfalfa such as in fish feeds, nutritive supplements, alternative protein sources for human consumption, high-value chemical manufacturing, or other novel uses. 
  5. Develop improved insect, disease and weed management strategies, including spotted aphid in alfalfa seed production and potential herbicide carry-over issues.
  6. Document the contribution of alfalfa production systems to climate-smart agriculture, including the sequestration of carbon.

Regional and National Coordination: AFRP projects must integrate both research and extension objectives. NIFA requires regional coordination and encourages national coordination of AFRP projects. For projects with the goal of regional coordination, at least two states from the same region (see below) must have significant involvement in the project. For projects with the goal of national coordination, states from at least two regions must have significant involvement in the project and at least two states from each participating region must be involved.

Regional balance and the involvement of new investigators may be taken into consideration during the development of funding recommendations.

  1. Eastern Region: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  2. Central Region: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.
  3. Western Region: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New México, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 202964

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum Award: $300,000 per year

Term of Contract:

Grant Duration: Maximum 36 months

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications for AFRP may only be submitted by (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, foundations or corporations; (8) Individuals who are United States citizens or nationals; or (9) A group consisting of two or more of the entities described in (1) through (8). Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the conduct of the project. Failure to meet an eligibility criterion by the application deadline may result in the application being excluded from consideration or, even though an application may be reviewed, will preclude NIFA from making an award.

Duplicate or Multiple Submissions – duplicate or multiple submissions are not allowed. NIFA will disqualify both applications if an applicant submits duplicate or multiple submissions. For those new to Federal financial assistance, NIFA’s Grants Overview provides highly recommended information about grants and other resources to help understand the Federal awards process.

Global Engagement. NIFA supports global engagement that advances U.S. agricultural goals. NIFA recognizes that collaboration with international partners may be necessary to attain the agency's goals for U.S. agriculture, promote global competence of our nation’s future agricultural workforce, and promote safe and nutritious food security in a growing world. Therefore, although application to this RFA is limited to eligible U.S. institutions, applicants may collaborate with international partners, to include subcontracts to international partners or other institutions. Applications must clearly demonstrate benefits to the U.S.

For Funding Restrictions, see

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates and Deadlines
- Application: 5:00 P.M. Eastern, June 2, 2022
- Notice of Intent: 5:00 P.M. Eastern, May 12, 2022
- Applicants Comments: Within six months from the issuance of this notice
(NIFA may not consider comments received after the sixth month)

Prospective applicants are asked to email a Notice of Intent to Submit an Application by 5 p.m. Eastern time on May 12, 2022. This notification is not required and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application. The information it contains will be used by program staff to plan the review process. It will not be used for screening for project appropriateness or applicant eligibility, nor will feedback be offered.

New Users to must register early with prior to submitting an application (Register to

Matching is required. For information, see

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Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Email a Notice of Intent to Submit an Application to “”.

Program Contacts
- Tom Bewick, National Program Leader
- Vance Owens, National Program Leader
- Megan O’Reilly, Program Specialist

For administrative questions related to;
1., see below
2. Other RFA or application questions, please email
3. Awards under this RFA, please email

U.S. Postal Mailing Address:
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 419205, MS 10000
Kansas City, MO 64141-6205

Courier/Package Delivery Address:
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
2312 East Bannister Road, MS 10000
Kansas City, MO 64141-3061 Support Online Support:
Telephone support: 800-518-4726 Toll Free or 606-545-5035
Email support:
Self-service customer-based support: iPortal:
Key Information: Customer service business Hours 24/7, except federal holidays.

NIFA Support
Key Information: Business hours: Monday thru
Friday, 7a.m. – 5p.m. ET, except federal holidays

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URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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