USDA announces application periods for BCAP

By Erin Voegele | May 24, 2016

The USDA Farm Service Agency has announced incentives will resume this month through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. According to the USDA, $3 million is available for BCAP during fiscal year 2016.

The program, reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to farmers and ranchers who establish and maintain new crops of energy biomass, or who harvest and deliver forest or agricultural residues to a USDA-approved facility that creates energy or biobased products.

Facilities seeking to be qualified by USDA to accept biomass can begin enrollment between May 23 and June 6.

According to information published by the USDA, a portion of $3 million available for BCAP this year will be provided to two existing BCAP projects in New York and Ohio/Pennsylvania to expand acres planted to shrub willow and giant miscanthus. Farmers and forest landowners may enroll for biomass establishment and maintenance payments for those two projects between June 15 and Sept. 13.

The USDA will also accept applications June 15 to Aug. 4 from foresters and farmers seeking incentives to remove biomass residue from fields or national forests for delivery to energy generation facilities. The retrieval payments are provided at a match of $1 to $1, up to $20 per dry ton. Eligible crops include corn residue, diseased or insect-infested wood materials, or orchard waste.

“This program expands the types of feedstock that can be used to make renewable fuels and biobased products, laying the foundation for growing more products made in rural America,” said Val Dolcini, USDA FSA administrator. “The Biomass Crop Assistance Program currently supports more than 890 growers and landowners farming nearly 49,000 acres to establish and produce dedicated, nonfood energy crops for delivery to energy conversion facilities, and it is a key piece of USDA’s strategy to grow the rural economy and create new markets for our farmers and ranchers.”

Additional information is available on the USDA website