• 22Mar

    FSA Announces Application Period for Biomass Crop Assistance Program Project Areas

    USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Bruce Nelson announced today the application period for the next round of Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) Project Areas. Proposals will be accepted until April 23, 2012.

    “BCAP provides incentives to farmers and forest landowners to grow non-food crops to be processed into biofuels – a critical element of our national energy strategy to address high fuel prices and reduce reliance on foreign oil,” said Nelson. “Because most energy crops are perennial and take time to mature before harvest, BCAP is designed so that sufficient quantities of feedstock will be available to meet future demand. And because these crops can grow where other crops cannot, it provides farmers with new opportunities to diversify into more markets.”

    The BCAP Project Areas where these crops are grown will be selected from proposals producers or biomass facilities submit to FSA. Information about submitting a proposal can be found on the www.grants.gov website.

    BCAP was created in the 2008 Farm Bill. USDA selected nine project areas in FY 2011, which resulted in the approval of more than 860 producer contracts to grow camelina, hybrid poplar, warm season grasses and giant miscanthus on almost 50,000 acres. The total investment in those projects is estimated to be $55 million.

    On Nov. 18, 2011, Congress enacted the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012, limiting the total amount of funding available for BCAP to $17 million.

    The Request for Proposal and additional information can be found at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/bcap.

    To acquire information about grants available through the federal government:

    Go to www.grants.gov Click on “Apply for Grants” heading on the left side of page. Click on “Download a Grant Application Package.” Type “10.087” in the box with the heading “CFDA Number” and click on “Download Package.”

    To create jobs in rural communities, drive economic growth, and help reduce our dependence on foreign oil, USDA is aggressively pursuing investments in renewable energy, investing in or making payments to over 5,700 renewable energy and energy efficiency improvement projects.

    To learn about other programs offered through FSA, visit www.fsa.usda.gov.

  • 28Oct

    - Succession Planning Important Despite Federal Estate Tax Law’s Status (DTN Progressive Farmer)

    Although the federal estate tax law remains in congressional limbo, it’s still important to plan for your farm’s succession.

    - Biomass Crop Assistance Program Final Rule Major Disappointment (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition)

    The final rule for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program is scheduled for official publication in the Federal Register on October 27.  The final rule was addressed by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack last Thursday as part of a set of bioenergy policies. NSAC submitted comments to USDA on the BCAP proposed rule back in April of this year.  Our general assessment of the final rule?  It includes several important positive steps forward, but overall it is very disappointing.

    - Iowa Harvest Of 2010 Is Winding Down Quickly (Wallaces Farmer)

    Weekly weather and crop conditions survey released October 25 shows 86% of Iowa’s corn harvest is now complete. That’s 35 days ahead of 2009 and 25 days ahead of the 5-year average.

    - Good weather a godsend for region’s farmers (Lansing State Journal)

    Early spring conditions, a warm summer and a dry autumn combined to create ideal crop conditions in mid-Michigan this season.

  • 06Apr

    USDA Release No. 0165.10 Contact: Andre Kok (202) 720-9733

    Biomass Producers, Energy Facilities and Communities Benefit from Innovative USDA Program

    Washington, DC, April 5, 2010 – USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Jonathan Coppess said today that biomass producers, energy facilities and communities are benefitting from USDA’s innovative Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). Through April 2, 2010, USDA has approved 4,605 agreements for the delivery of more than 4.18 million tons of biomass and paid eligible biomass owners $165,274,695 in matching payments under BCAP’s first phase.

    BCAP authorized USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to help those who own biomass by providing matching payments for the collection, harvest, storage and transportation of eligible biomass delivered to approved facilities to convert it to biofuels. FSA service centers across the country have issued payments of up to $45 per dry ton for eligible biomass deliveries. Biomass is any organic matter that is available on a renewable or recurring basis including: agricultural commodities, plants, trees, algae, and other animal, vegetative and wood waste materials.

    “Congress directed USDA to establish a program to encourage farmers and forest landowners to help develop the biomass supply chain and accelerate energy independence, rural economic development and renewable sources of energy,” said Coppess. “Since we issued initial guidance last June, BCAP has gathered momentum and our efforts to expedite matching payments provided valuable, real-world information and experiences that will inform the crafting of the final regulation, as well as some much-needed economic stimulus in many rural areas.

    “We’ve had dozens of reports from biomass producers, energy facilities and communities that are benefitting from BCAP payments right now, which shows the incredible potential of this innovative program,” said Coppess. Read more »

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