On July 29, 2009, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Jonathan Coppess announced that biomass conversion facilities can begin signing up to participate in the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), 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 and the FSA will provide financial assistance to collect, harvest, store and transport eligible materials.
Biomass conversion facilities and material owners or producers should contact their FSA state offices or visit the FSA website for more information. FSA will begin accepting applications from biomass facilities interested in participating in the BCAP.
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 may become "qualified" by submitting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to the FSA state offices. Once a facility becomes qualified, eligible material owners or producers who deliver biomass to that facility may be eligible to receive CHST payments. Eligible material owners or producers who market eligible material to a qualified biomass conversion facility may apply for the matching CHST 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, where it will be reviewed by the FSA and county offices before CHST payments are authorized.