First Biomass Crop Assistance Project Announced

First Biomass Crop Assistance Project Announced

Project designates areas in Missouri and Kansas for bioenergy feedstock production.

Parts of Missouri and Kansas have been selected for the establishment of the first Biomass Crop Assistance Program Project Area to promote the production of dedicated feedstocks for bioenergy. Comprising 39 contiguous counties in Missouri and Kansas, the first BCAP Project Area proposes the enrollment of up to 50,000 acres for establishing a dedicated energy crop of native grasses and herbaceous plants for energy purposes.

"Reducing our dependence on foreign oil and getting a handle on out of control gas prices will require investments in projects like we are announcing today," said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. "By encouraging production of feedstocks that can be converted into next-generation biofuels we are boosting the rural economy, creating jobs, contributing to America's energy security and protecting our planet. Investments like this spark creation of new industries and is a key part of our effort to keep America competitive and win the future."

The program provides an opportunity for teams of crop producers and bioenergy facilities to submit proposals to USDA to be selected as a BCAP project area. If selected, crop producers will be eligible for reimbursements of up to 75% of the cost of establishing a bioenergy perennial crop, and can receive up to five years of annual payments for grassy crops, and up to 15 years of annual payments for woody crops. Bioenergy facilities are those facilities that produce heat, power, biobased products, or advanced biofuels from biomass feedstocks.

The project is a joint effort between the agriculture producers of Show Me Energy Cooperative of Centerview, Mo. and USDA. Producers interested in participating in the project area should visit their local Farm Service Agency county office for additional information and application. The signup period for this project area will begin on Monday, May 9, 2011. Producers interested in participating in the project area should visit their local Farm Service Agency county office for additional information and application.

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