The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is now accepting applications for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) Project Areas. Proposals will be accepted until April 23, 2012.

“BCAP is an important and unique program that develops new biomass energy crops that can boost farmer income while providing a new energy source for the nation. It has potential across the country,” said Steve Falck, Senior Policy Advocate for the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC).

The USDA will review the proposals and select producers or biomass facilities for the BCAP Project Areas. The growers will qualify for establishment or annual payments.

BCAP was first created in the 2008 Farm Bill. In FY2011, USDA selected nine project areas, approving more than 860 grower contracts for camelina, hybrid poplar, warm season grasses and giant miscanthus on almost 50,000 acres. The total investment in those projects is estimated to be $55 million.

In November 2011, Congress passed appropriations for 2012 limiting the total amount of BCAP funding to $17 million, reducing the potential number of projects and investments.

The Request for Proposal and additional information can be found at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/bcap.

To apply for a BCAP grant:

1.    Go to www.grants.gov.
2.    On the left side of the page, click on “Apply for Grants.”
3.    Click on “Download a Grant Application Package.”
4.    Type “10.087” in the box with the heading “CFDA Number” and click on “Download Package.”