I just signed up to receive e-mail updates on the progress of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). If you want to see how USDA is moving along with BCAP, sign up at www.fsa.usda/gov/energy. For techies, you can even follow Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs now at Twitter.
USDA recently proposed two alternatives for implementing BCAP. While the survey deadline is now past, you may still want to make your voice heard at your county FSA office. http://FarmEnergy.org will be publishing results later this month.
The reason you might want to contact USDA is that in USDA’s Alternative A—Targeted Implementation of BCAP, government payments would be limited to provide some risk mitigation for growing crops while Alternative B—Broad Implementation of BCAP would allow payments to completely replace lost potential income from non-BCAP crops.
See “What do you Think About BCAP?” at http:FarmEnergy.org to see the other differences between the two plans.
BCAP provides financial assistance to producers or entities that deliver eligible biomass material to designated biomass conversion facilities for use as heat, power, biobased products or biofuels.
The FSA will initially provide financial assistance for the collection, harvest, storage and transportation costs of biomass. Producers will be eligible for up to a dollar per dollar match, up to $45 per dry ton, for the value of the biomass delivered to a designated biomass conversion facility for up to two years of payments.
If a producer is paid $30 per dry ton for the biomass by the conversion facility, the producer would be eligible for a $30 per dry ton payment from the FSA for the costs associated with collecting, harvesting, transporting and storing the biomass.
FSA recommends that producers check back frequently for updates. The agency will publish a fact sheet, application documents and a list of participating facilities in the coming weeks.