USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Executive Director in California David Schaad announced that Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) funding is available at $112 million for fiscal year 2011 and that a deadline for project area proposals is approaching near the end of May.

BCAP supports agricultural and forest land owners and operators through two distinct processes. One process requires an approved project area to support the production of eligible energy crop feedstock produced within the project area. “Project sponsors must submit their project area proposals to the FSA State Office by May 27, 2011,” said Schaad.

Approved project area participants may qualify for BCAP assistance under a contract agreement with Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). Through this agreement, BCAP assistance is available to establish eligible biomass crops and for annual contract payments on eligible biomass crop acreage.

The other BCAP process provides matching payments for the collection, harvest, storage and transportation (CHST) of eligible biomass materials to a qualified biomass conversion facility by eligible material owners. Currently only herbaceous species are considered eligible materials for CHST matching payments. At this time matching payments for woody biomass have not been authorized. The implementation of the CHST for woody biomass species is expected to re-open in mid-summer.

Both matching payments and annual payments will be affected by the reduction in program funding. For further information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov.