Officials with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) recently announced that biomass conversion facilities can begin signing up to participate in the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) that provides financial assistance to producers who deliver eligible material to qualified biomass conversion facilities. The FSA will provide financial assistance to collect, harvest, store and transport eligible materials.
The program allows owners of eligible material to receive financial assistance for delivering qualified biomass to conversion facilities that use biomass for heat, power, bio-based products or advanced biofuels.
The FSA is now accepting applications from biomass facilities interested in participating. Once an agreement is signed between FSA and a facility, and funding through the program is provided, producers who sell their eligible materials to qualified facilities can apply for matching payments under the collection, harvest, storage and transportation (CHST) component of BCAP.
Before selling and delivering biomass to the qualified conversion facilities, eligible material owners or producers must first submit an application at an FSA county office to apply for CHST payments. After the product is delivered, a producer must provide FSA with documentation of product quantity, quality and payment rate.
Matching payments are made at a rate of $1 for $1 per dry ton equivalent received from a qualified biomass conversion facility, up to $45 per dry ton equivalent. A biomass owner may receive payments for two years.
For example, if a qualified biomass conversion facility pays a producer $30 per dry ton for biomass, the material owner would be eligible for a matching payment of $30 per dry ton from FSA.
County FSA offices will validate payment requests with information in the county office and information provided under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding with the qualified conversion facilities. CHST payments will not be authorized until after an appropriate environmental analysis has been conducted. Biomass conversion facilities and material owners or producers should contact their FSA state offices or visit www.fsa.usda.gov for more information.Tags: BCAP, biomass conversion facilities, FSA