Four more states will be added to the list of project areas under a Farm Service Agency program that encourages producers to establish dedicated energy crops to be used for production of biofuels. Today’s announcement is expected to spark the creation of thousands of new jobs in future production years.
Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania were selected as part of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program that will provide financial incentives to eligible agriculture producers to grow giant miscanthus — a sterile, hybrid warm-season grass that is cultivated through the planting of rhizomes in open fields.
According to Secretary Vilsack, this represents another step in agriculture’s contribution to the President’s energy goals to establish commercial-scale dedicated energy crops.
Selected producers will receive up to 75 percent of the cost of establishing a perennial bioenergy crop and can receive up to five years of annual payments for herbaceous crops, whether annual or perennial. Producers that plant annual or perennial woody crops can receive up to 15 years of annual payment incentives.
BCAP is a primary component of the strategy to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil, improve domestic energy security, reduce pollution and spur rural economic development and job creation.