The Biomass Crop Assistance Program, or BCAP, is still in its infancy, but its potential success has producers and businesses wanting more.
“We have people on a waiting list,” said Tim Wooldridge, Arkansas project manager with MFA Oil Biomass. MFA was selected by USDA to manage three of nine project areas in fiscal year 2011. Each project area was awarded federal funding to provide incentives to farmers to grow non-food crops that can be processed into biofuels. “Our initial target in the Arkansas project was 5,000 acres, which we surpassed in signing up 6,588 acres. We now have 1,500 acres on a waitlist. We could easily get another 6,000.” Read more »
I was privileged to be part of a recent celebration in Little Rock, Arkansas. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe hosted a press conference with Share Our Strength and the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance to announce the achievements of the first year of their state-wide campaign to end childhood hunger.
Last October when the initiative was launched, Arkansas had the highest rate of childhood hunger in the nation. The governor was appalled and decided to do something about it. The Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign kicked off with the main strategy of increasing participation in existing federal nutrition assistance programs. Their first-year goal was to increase participation in SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, by five percent, and to increase participation in the Summer Food Service Program by 10 percent. Read more »
Great Blue Heron uses restored wetland habitat near a significant archeological site in Yell County, Arkansas
A USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) project designed to alleviate crop losses from flooding and restore wetlands along the Arkansas and Petit Jean Rivers is also protecting a significant archeological site in Yell County, Arkansas. Read more »
Prairie Grove dam helps reduce flooding of Muddy Fork Creek along the western edge of Prairie Grove.
The flooding from this year’s spring rain storms caused millions of dollars worth of damage to homes, businesses and crops in Arkansas.
But some flooding was reduced or minimized, thanks to 207 small and medium-sized dams built by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), in partnership with local watershed districts. Read more »
The stream bank next to Deanna Young’s home after stabilization.
Although raging waters had subsided at Deanna Young’s home in Ponca, Ark., a flood of emotions hit her when she found out USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) would pay 100 percent of the cost of protecting her home from falling into Adds Creek. Read more »
This photo shows giant miscanthus (measuring seven feet tall). Photo courtesy of NRCS
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. Read more »