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…)

2009 REAP Awards Boost Farm Energy Projects Across USA

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Harvest the windsFarm energy solutions are helping more American farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses realize new income and savings opportunities this year, while reducing carbon pollution and helping our environment. REAP is “Exhibit A” in how farm energy can both slash carbon pollution and create economic opportunity for agriculture.

To help meet the fast-growing interest in farm energy, Congress allocated a total of $60 million for REAP in FY2009, and more funding is possible next year. Even so, demand for REAP’s funds far exceeds available funding.

This year, USDA announced record awards for 2009 for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). USDA awarded these funds as grants and loan guarantees to over 1,500 farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses across the country for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. (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…)

State USDA Offices Can Now Award REAP Funding

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

In the first 5 years of the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), grant awards tended to be concentrated in a few states. These states had invested in policies and programs which helped their farms and rural businesses develop their clean energy resources with help from REAP.

Solar for AgricultureFor the 2009 REAP program, the USDA has tried to address this problem by changing how it allocates award funds. Now, each individual state Rural Development office has been provided an allocation of funds for its state. This will speed up awards of some grants and all loan guarantees. USDA has allocated a total of $27.7 million (46% of overall funding) to the states. (more…)

USDA Announces REAP Funding for 2009

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Overview

Today, May 26, 2009, USDA issued a Notice of Solicitation for Applications (NOSA) for Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants, loan guarantees and feasibility study funding.  Applications are due on July 31.

The full Federal Register notice can be found here.

This year’s program highlights, including changes made in the 2008 Farm Bill, include: (more…)

ELPC’s Andy Olsen Discusses REAP on Montana Radio

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

ELPC Senior Policy Advocate Andy Olsen visited Billings, Montana in January 2009 to participate in Harvesting Clean Energy’s 2009 Conference. While there, he sat down with Kristi Pettis from the Northern Ag Broadcasting Network to discuss the new Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) (requires Windows Media Player, QuickTime or other media player).  Andy emphasized the opportunities for both smaller producers and businesses and larger operations to use REAP’s grants and loan guarantees.