Sustainable Ag Coalition News – Biomass to Energy Grants

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Latest news from the National Sustainable Agriculture  Coalition: Biomass to Energy Grants; Rural Child Poverty, GE Environmental Impacts...

$3 Million Available in Biomass to Energy Grants - Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), farmers can receive funding to offset some of the costs of establishing and producing crops like switch grass and willow for bioenergy production. On May 23, 2016, USDA announced that BCAP funding has resumed for farmers and foresters growing and harvesting biomass for renewable energy and bio-based products. For fiscal year (FY) 2016, $3 million is available through the program. USDA Finds Rising Income Inequality Is Main Driver of Increasing Rural Child Poverty A new analysis released this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) found that the number of rural children living in poverty is rising, despite a U.S. economy that has seen rising income and employment levels for other segments of the population. So why the increase? ERS economist Thomas Hertz and ERS geographer Tracey Farrigan co-authored the report, Understanding the Rise in Rural Child Poverty, 2003-2014, which seeks to analyze and explain changes in average rural incomes, rural demographics, and income inequality over the last decade. Socioeconomic and Environmental Impacts of GE Crop Production Raise Concerns While the issue of GMO (genetically modified organism) labeling is certainly an important one, there are many other concerns with genetically engineered (GE) crops and food of importance to the sustainable agriculture movement, and that are often at risk of being overshadowed by the labeling debate. A prime example of this are questions regarding the economic, environmental, and social impacts of GE crops and food. This disparity was front and center following a recent report (“the NAS report”) by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

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