USDA funding for biomass energy crops

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $9.6 million in funding for biomass energy crop production in New York, North Carolina and Arkansas. The funding under the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) focuses on expanding the production of non-food energy crops for use in manufacturing liquid biofuels and renewable electricity.
Miscsnthus - the dwarf garden variety, related to the giant hybrid energy crop.

BCAP, created in the 2008 Farm Bill, is run by USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA). BCAP is designed to help farmers and forest land owners switch to crops that can be used to produce usable energy. In many cases, these new energy crops can have significant start-up costs and can take several years before they are ready for harvest. Developing the facilities need to convert these crops into energy products can also involve significant lead time. To overcome these obstacles, BCAP will pay energy crop producers reimbursement for up to 75 percent of the costs of establishing perennial crops. BCAP will also pay for annual maintenance of these crops, for up to five years for herbaceous crops and eleven years for woody crops.

The funding announced this week includes nearly $4 million to fund the production of up to $4,000 acres of grass crops including miscanthus and switchgrass in North Carolina. These crops will be sent to a refinery proposed by Chemtex International where they will be converted into 20 million gallons of bioethanol per year. The refinery is also expected to produce chemicals and biogas. North Carolina farmers will be paid an initial amount to establish the grass crops, plus five years of annual payments for crop maintenance, on top of their crop sales.

$4.2 million in BCAP funding will also support the establishment of up to 3,500 acres of shrub willow in northern New York. Project sponsor ReEnergy Holdings LLC will buy the willow crop as a fuel for biomass electricity production in the area.

BCAP will also provide an additional $1.2 million in funding for an expansion of miscanthus production in northeast Arkansas. Project sponsor MFA Oil Biomass LLC anticipates using the crop to produce a pelletized fuel for both heating use on the producing farms and sale into pellet fuel markets.


3B said...

Energy crop provides high output per hectare for low inputs and for those that provide specific product which can be converted into Biofuel..Through engineering research and agriculture innovation,BCAP is working to grow,harvest and use of energy crop as renewable energy biofuel feedstock for power generation..This program specially designed to help farmers and forest land owners switch to crop that can be used to produce usable energy..
very nice research report..keep continue sharing such useful post

Krista Hiles said...

Your post really made us think over the issue of bio-fuels. It's great new that bio-fuels are flourishing in US. But at the same time there are questions raised on the cost and value of bio-fuel programs.

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