U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that $1.5 million will be available in fiscal year 2017 for farmers and foresters who harvest and deliver biomass for renewable energy. The funds are from the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
“USDA investments in expanding biofuel feedstocks lay the foundation for more bioproducts made in rural America, supporting rural economic development, reducing carbon pollution and helping decrease our dependence on foreign energy,” said Dolcini.
In fiscal year 2017, there is $3 million total available for BCAP, half of which is for harvesting and delivering forest or agricultural residues to a USDA-approved energy facility. BCAP also provides financial assistance to farmers and ranchers who establish and maintain new crops of biomass for energy or biobased products; additional information on the resumption of those funds will be announced at a later date.
Facilities seeking to be qualified by USDA to accept BCAP-funded biomass can begin enrollment Nov. 14 through Dec. 5, 2016. Also, between Jan. 9, 2017, through March 15, 2017, USDA will accept applications from foresters and farmers seeking incentives to remove biomass residues from fields or national forests for delivery to energy generation facilities. The retrieval payments are provided at match of $1 for $1, up to $20 per dry ton. Eligible crops include corn residue, orchard waste or diseased or insect-infested wood materials.
Investments in renewable energy and the biobased economy are a leading part of USDA’s commitment to mitigating climate change and promoting a clean-energy economy. This month, the Department is examining what a changing climate means to agriculture and how USDA is working to reduce greenhouse gases. For more information, visit Chapter 5 of https://medium.com/usda-results.