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Biomass Magazine: USDA REAP sinks $3.4 billion into rural economies

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Though the USDA Rural Energy for America Program has been hugely successful since it was first implemented in the 2002 Farm Bill, numerous changes have been implemented over the years in order to maximize program value.

To date, the program has put over $3.4 billion into rural economies, according to Anthony Crooks, USDA energy specialist. (more…)

Farm Bill Energy Crop Program Spurs New Growth

Friday, June 15th, 2012

New and expanded project areas for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, or BCAP, were announced by the USDA on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. BCAP is a Farm Bill program that provides incentives to agricultural producers who establish, cultivate and harvest biomass for heat, power, bio-based products and biofuel.

The new and expanded project areas include 7,500 newly enrolled acres in New York and North Carolina and three new counties in Project Area 2 in northeast Arkansas. The total BCAP project areas now include nearly 120,000 enrolled acres across 196 counties in 14 states. Here are some details about the announcement: (more…)

Senate Ag Committee Approves Mandatory Funding of Core Energy Programs

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012



ELPC Commends Senate Agriculture Committee Support of Homegrown Energy

WASHINGTON – The Senate Agriculture Committee took an important step to support America’s farmers, renewable homegrown energy, rural development and national security by funding core energy programs through a Farm Bill amendment passed today.

“We commend Chairwoman Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and the bipartisan group of 11 Senators who supported a bipartisan amendment supporting mandatory funding for programs that reduce dependence on polluting fossil fuels and help farmers cut energy costs and produce innovative renewable energy for America,” said Andy Olsen, Senior Policy Advocate with the Environmental Law & Policy Center.

“The state of the economy and our continuing energy challenges underscore the need for programs like the REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) and  BCAP (Biomass Crop Assistance Program) which generate rural development and provide a safety net to farmers,” Olsen said.

“We thank the energy title supporters, Senators Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) for their support of an Energy Title amendment that provides mandatory funding of these core energy programs,” Olsen added.


The Environmental Law & Policy Center is the Midwest’s leading environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization.

Growing Biomass: Why Incentives Matter

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Midwest Energy News examines the importance the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) still holds for farmers by talking with Steve Flick, the founder of the Show Me Energy Cooperative and with Andy Olsen, a senior policy advocate with the Environmental Law & Policy Center.

“Olsen says biomass projects such as Show Me Energy serve multiple policy goals. They’re a source of cleaner-burning, homegrown energy, and the crops they use as feedstocks can help reduce soil erosion, improve air and water quality and conserve wildlife habitat.”

Read the story.

USDA Releases Long-Awaited Biomass Crop Proposal

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

(February 8) On February 8, 2010, USDA issued its proposed rule to implement the 2008 Farm Bill’s Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP).  In the same proposal USDA also terminated an interim funding program under BCAP which has cost the government far more than expected.

USDA is accepting public comments on its BCAP proposal through April 9, 2010. Here is a copy of the proposal (opens in new window); otherwise, read on for more information on the proposal. (more…)

Agriculture Secretary’s Visit Highlights First BCAP Project

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Steve Flick shows Secretary Vilsack biomass pellets

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently visited the Flick Seed Company and Show Me Energy Cooperative as part of the Obama Administration’s Rural Tour. Secretary Vilsack praised the operation as a model to “create new opportunities in rural communities and new markets for farm products.”

Shortly after Secretary Vilsack’s visit, Show Me Energy Cooperative became the first in the nation to be approved under the USDA’s Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), providing a working model for sustainable biomass energy. Flick and his partners have developed an agricultural enterprise that provides jobs and increased income for growers – all while helping to slow global warming. (more…)