The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published a final rule implementing the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. 75 Fed. Reg. 66,201 (10/27/10). The BCAP provides financial assistance to farmers and other landowners who switch to biomass energy crops, such as grass and trees.
Under the program, approximately 17 million acres of traditional cropland and 34 million acres of pasture land would be shifted to energy crop production. The BCAP provides matching payments for farmers who sell eligible biomass to a qualified energy production facility and funding for producers of eligible renewable biomass crops within specified project areas to cover costs of establishing the crops. The rule was effective October 27, 2010.