Biomass assistance program created


WASHINGTON — Biomass conversion facilities can begin signing up to participate in the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, which will help 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.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency will provide financial assistance to collect, harvest, store and transport eligible materials.

Owners of eligible material can receive financial assistance for delivering qualified biomass to conversion facilities that use biomass for heat, power, bio-based products or advanced biofuels.

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

How it works

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 component of the assistance program.

The matching 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.

For example, if a qualified biomass conversion facility pays a producer $30 per dry ton for biomass, the material owner or producer would be eligible for a matching payment of $30 per dry ton from FSA.

Eligible material owners or producers, who market eligible material to a qualified biomass conversion facility, may apply for the matching payment at their FSA county office.

An application must be submitted before the eligible material is sold and delivered to a qualified biomass conversion facility.

After the product is delivered, a producer must provide FSA with documentation of product quantity, quality and payment rate.

Payments will not be authorized until after an appropriate environmental analysis has been conducted.

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