FSA proposes more changes in Biomass Crop Assistance Program

By Daniel Martin

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, June 17, 2015 - The Farm Service Agency (FSA) WASHINGTON, June 17, 2015 - The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is proposing several changes to further improve the functionality and flexibility of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP).                              

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The proposed changes include:

Consideration and review of additional crops including: pongamia pinnata, giant miscanthus seeded and rhizome clones, giant reed (Arundo donax), pennycress (Thlaspi arvense), energy cane (Saccharum spp.), biomass sorghum, sweet sorghum, yellowhorned fruit tree, eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), kenaf, jatropha, eucalyptus (fast growing), castor beans (Ricinus communis), short rotation pine, tropical maize, hybrid willow, sweetgum, black locust, loblolly pine, aspen, rubber rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa) and guayule (Parthenium argentatum).

Requirements or additional practices for conservation plans on expiring Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) land acres that would be enrolled in BCAP project areas.

Potential for enrolling annual crops in BCAP project areas for contracts of less than five years.

Program management processes that could help offset the lack of crop insurance for biomass crops or provide sufficient information for the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) to establish coverage.

Treatment of the required FSA annual rental reductions in the event of no bioenergy market end use (conversion to heat, power, advance biofuel or biobased product) for the harvested or collected biomass crops.

FSA will be conducting meetings to provide information on the proposed changes to BCAP and to solicit input from program participants, the public, and other stakeholders on the environmental impacts of these changes and alternatives to these changes. Public meetings will be held on July 14, 2015 in Sacramento, California; July 15, 2015 in Honolulu, Hawaii; August 3, 2015 in Raleigh, North Carolina; August 4, 2015 in Orlando, Florida; August 5, 2015 in Sioux City, Iowa.

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