Freedom Giant Miscanthus Qualifies Under the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP)
The 2008 Farm Bill established the Biomass Crop Assistance Program to help bring biofuels to market sooner. Freedom Giant Miscanthus is an eligible crop under this program.
This program helps offset the startup costs for biomass growers and provides cost-share payments for the harvest, storage and transport of biomass crops.
The legislation directs the Secretary of Agriculture to establish BCAP project areas in which potential biomass crop producers and a biomass user facility have agreed to produce and use of biomass crops for conversion to advanced biofuels or bioenergy.
Crop Establishment Payments:
Agricultural producers in BCAP project areas may contract with the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to receive biomass crop establishment payments up to 75% of costs, plus annual payments in amounts determined by the Secretary in subsequent years to help to compensate for lost opportunity costs until crops are established.
The BCAP program added this provision on February
3, 2010. See the USDA announcement.
Crop Sales Matching:
The program also provides for cost-share payments for the harvest, storage, and transport of biomass crops to user facilities at a rate to match the biomass sale price $1 per $1, up to $45 per dry ton. The bill provides such mandatory funds as are necessary to carry out the program. If a cellulosic plant is paying $60 per ton for miscanthus, for example, your sales price would be $60 + the maximum match of $45, for a total of $105 per ton.
To help growers through the learning curve, the BCAP will enable biorefineries and grower groups to apply for up to a 75% cost share on the establishment of energy crops. The program also will enable growers to receive an undeclared amount for ongoing annual payments until a biorefinery begins to purchase their feedstocks.
This program will provide for five-year contracts for herbaceous crops (such as Freedom) and 15-year contracts for woody crops. It also will provide incentives for producers to harvest, store and transport biomass to bioenergy facilities.
For a full list of BCAP conversion facilities, click here.
For a helpful set of common questions and answers from the USDA, click here.