On June 9, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Commodity Credit Corporation and Farm Service Agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will soon begin accepting applications for $12.5 million in matching payments under the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. The program aims to help offset feedstock collection and delivery costs to biomass conversion facilities (BCFs) which then use these residues to generate clean energy.
For fiscal year 2014, USDA is prioritizing two types of feedstocks:
- Woody materials that are by-products of preventative treatment for hazardous fuel reductions or containment or reduction of disease or insect infestations and do not have an existing higher-value product market and are collected or harvested directly from public forestland; or
- Agricultural residues or crop residues, including woody orchard waste, collected or harvested directly from agricultural lands, which include residues from agricultural land belonging to an Indian or Indian tribe that is held in trust by the United States or subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States.
For more information on the program, please see the press release from USDA.