June 3, 2014. The USDA recently announced pending opportunities for biomass producers and energy facilities to apply for the Renewed Biomass Crop Assistance Program. This opportunity is made available through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and will resume this summer.
Under the recently approved Farm Bill, $25 million will be authorized annually for BCAP, requiring between 10 and 50 percent of the total funding to be used for harvest and transportation of biomass residues. Additionally, traditional food and feed crops are ineligible for assistance.
The types of assistance provide under BCAP are divided into three distinct categories. First, for the production of new biomass BCAP will provide financial assistance in the form of supplying 50 percent of the cost of establishing a perennial crop. Second, for the maintenance of the crop until it can be harvested, BCAP provides an annual payment for up to five years for herbaceous crops, or up to 15 years for woody crops. Finally, BCAP provides matching payments for mitigating the cost of harvesting and transporting the materials to the end-use facility for the collection of existing agriculture or forest residues that are not economically retrievable.
For additional information on BCAP, including eligibility and application questions, please visit a local FSA office.