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Biomass program open for applications

Biomass conversion facilities can now begin enrollment in the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), aimed at helping increase production of renewable energy. The program, authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to producers who deliver eligible material to biomass conversion facilities, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide financial assistance to collect, harvest, store and transport eligible materials.

Once an agreement is signed between FSA and a facility and funding through the program is provided, the facilities can begin accepting materials. Producers who sell these materials can apply for matching payments under the collection, harvest, storage and transportation (CHST) component of BCAP.

The matching CHST payments are paid at a rate of $1 for $1 per dry-ton equivalent received from a qualified biomass conversion facility, not to exceed $45 per dry-ton equivalent. A biomass owner is eligible to receive payments for two years. The purpose of the matching payments is to assist biomass producers with the CHST cost of delivering biomass to a qualified biomass conversion facility.

Biomass conversion facilities and material owners or producers should contact their FSA state offices or visit www.fsa.usda.gov for more information.

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