BCAP Project Area Information

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BCAP Project Area Information

BCAP assistance for the establishment and production of biomass crops is available within designated project areas. BCAP project areas are specific geographic areas where producers may enroll land to grow specified biomass crops. Participants may be eligible to receive financial and technical assistance as well as annual payments to establish these crops.

Project areas are established based on proposals submitted to FSA by either a group of producers or an entity that converts biomass to heat, power, a biobased product or an advanced biofuel. Those interested in submitting a proposal are encouraged to contact their FSA state office for details. Upon designation of a project area, certain producers within the project area are then eligible to enroll land into the program.

How BCAP Project Area Contracts works

Producers within a designated BCAP project area may apply to enroll land into the program and receive assistance to grow eligible biomass crops. Biomass must be established, produced and harvested or collected according to an approved conservation, forest stewardship, or similar plan to ensure that soil, water and other resource concerns are adequately addresses on the enrolled land.

Producers will generally be eligible for:

  • Annual payments for the land enrolled;
  • Establishment cost-share payments for perennial biomass crops;

Matching payments for up to two years for the collection, harvest, storage and transport of the biomass to a qualified biomass conversion facility may also be available.

Annual Payments- Enrolled biomass producers in BCAP project areas can receive annual payments up to five years for herbaceous biomass (annual and perennial) and up to 15 years for woody biomass (perennial). Annual payments are reduced by a percentage of the value of the crop and any matching payments received as follows:

  • 1 percent if biomass is harvested for cellulosic biofuels that meets the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) program standards (60 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions)
  • 10 percent if biomass is harvested for advanced biofuels
  • 25 percent if biomass is harvested for heat, power or biobased products
  • 100 percent if biomass is harvested for anything other than heat, power, biofuels or biobased products

Establishment Payments - BCAP participants may qualify for up to 75 percent of the cost of establishing perennial crops on contract acres. These payments will reimburse participants for a part of the cost of site preparation, seed stocks, planting activities and related measures. Fencing, equipment, or related livestock or wildlife control measures will not be eligible for establishment payments.

Who is eligible to participate?

To be eligible, a producer must be enrolling eligible land located in a designated project area, which is also in compliance with the highly erodible and wetland compliance provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended. There are no adjusted gross income eligibility requirements or payment limitations for BCAP contracts. The producer must also be establishing and/or producing eligible crops in accordance with a conservation plan, forest stewardship plan or equivalent plan.

What land is eligible?

Eligible land for BCAP project area contracts must be within an approved BCAP Project Area. In general, eligible land includes agricultural and non-industrial private forestland. However, within a specific project area there may be limitations on the type of land eligible. Ineligible land includes federal or state-owned land, land that is native sod, or land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), or Grassland Reserve program (GRP). Land enrolled in the Direct and Countercyclical Program (DCP), Conservation Security Program (CSP) or Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is not excluded from eligibility. Cropland base and yield history are preserved for land enrolled in a BCAP contract.

What is an eligible crop?

BCAP defines an eligible crop as a crop of renewable biomass as defined in section 9001 of the 2008 Farm Bill excluding the following:

  • Any crop that is eligible to receive payment under Title I, “Commodity Programs” of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 9Pub. L. 110-246) or an amendment made by that title; and
  • Any plant that CCC has determined to be either a noxious weed or an invasive species. With respect to noxious weeds and invasive species, a list of such plants will be available in the FSA county office.

Each project area will support a specific list of eligible crops.

How do I apply?

Enrollment start dates will be announced by FSA, subject to funding availability. Applications will be taken at USDA Service Centers where the enrolled acres are or would be administered. For more information, contact your local FSA Service Center.