USDA's Farm Service Agency has made the first matching payments under the Biomass Crop Assistance Program to Show Me Energy Cooperative of Missouri. Producers are being paid by the cooperative for biomass materials and FSA is matching those payments with BCAP collection, harvest, storage and transportation program funds.
"As the Obama Administration continues laying the foundation for a stronger, revitalized economy, biomass has great potential to create new, green jobs for American workers," said Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Biomass also has important environmental benefits to produce cleaner energy and reduce greenhouse gases."
The BCAP was created in the 2008 Farm Bill and implemented earlier this year. Show Me Energy was the first facility to become qualified under the program by filing the necessary agreement with the Missouri FSA office.
"Show Me Energy completed an agreement soon after our July 29 announcement and had biomass producers waiting," said FSA Administrator Jonathan Coppess. "Agriculture Secretary Vilsack had a chance to see first hand the company's successful operation during a recent visit to Missouri. He was impressed and excited about the opportunities that BCAP presents for agriculture, the environment and the nation."
The Show Me Energy plant produces fuel pellets from agricultural waste products that are used to heat houses and livestock facilities. The firm has over 500 biomass producers supplying materials such as switchgrass, straw, corn stover, sawdust, woodchips and other biomass materials.
According to Show Me Energy Cooperative CEO Kurt Herman Kansas Power and Light's Sibley plant is testing pellets to see if they could supplement coal for producing electricity. Herman also says the plant could expand to produce cellulosic liquid fuels.
A proposed rule on matching payments, available for public comment, and another BCAP component, Establishment and Annual Payments, available in a project area in the vicinity of a biomass conversion facility, is expected to be published this fall. For more information on FSA's Biomass Crop Assistance Program, click HERE.