On Monday, Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary, announced an additional four project areas for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). The four projects areas, in the states of California, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington, will be used to produce non-food crops for the manufacture of liquid biofuels.
When the project areas reach full operating capacity, it is predicted that there will be an additional 3,400 jobs across the agriculture, biorefinery and supporting sectors and the areas will provide the raw materials to produce over 2 million gallons of biofuels per year.
Vilsack said, “The Obama Administration is committed to providing financial opportunities to rural communities, farmers and ranchers to produce biomass which will be converted to renewable fuels and increase America’s energy independence. The selection of these project areas is another step in the effort to assist the nation’s advanced biofuel industry to produce energy in commercial quantities from sustainable rural resources. This effort will create jobs and stimulate rural economies across the nation.”
BCAP, created in the 2008 Farm Bill, is a primary component of the domestic agriculture, energy, and environmental strategy to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil, improve domestic energy security, reduce carbon pollution, and spur rural economic development and job creation.If selected, crop producers will be eligible for reimbursements of up to 75 percent of the cost of establishing a bioenergy perennial crop. Producers can receive up to five years of annual payments for herbaceous (non-woody) crops (annual or perennial), and up to 15 years of annual payments for woody crops (annual or perennial).
Approximately $45 million has been allocated for contracts for producers who volunteer to enrol in BCAP.The BCAP has projects that will grow camelina, poplar, switchgrass and miscanthus giganteus.
Switchgrass and miscanthusgiganteus are the first-ever national investments in expanding U.S. biomass resources to meet domestic energy security.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency