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Missouri biomass co-op first to earn BCAP payments.

USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) has made the first matching payment under the new Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) to Show Me Energy Cooperative of Missouri. The co-op is the first biomass conversion facility in the nation to qualify under BCAP, a 2008 Farm Bill Program. Less than a month later, it was paying producers for biomass materials; FSA matched the payments with BCAP collection, harvest, storage and transportation (CHST) program funds.

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Show Me Energy has more than 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, "Our plant produces fuel pellets from agricultural waste products, but could expand to produce cellulosic liquid fuels." Herman also says pellets produced by Show Me Energy are used to heat houses and livestock facilities. Kansas Power & Light Company's Sibley plant is testing pellets to determine if the biomass fuel could supplement coal for generating electricity.

The BCAP program encourages biomass conversion facilities to sign agreements with FSA. The agreement can be downloaded from: www.fsa.usda.gov. Once signed up, FSA confirms qualifications and assigns facilities identification numbers. Producers who sell eligible materials to qualified biomass conversion facilities can then apply for FSA payments that match the amount received from the facility. The payments are authorized under the CHST component of BCAP.

For example, if a qualified biomass conversion facility pays a producer $30 per dry ton for biomass, the material owner or producer would be eligible for a matching payment of $30 per dry ton from FSA. Eligible material owners or producers, who market eligible material to a qualified biomass conversion facility, may apply for the matching CHST payment at their FSA county office. An application must be submitted before the eligible material is sold and delivered to a qualified biomass conversion facility.
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Title Annotation:Newsline: Co-op developments, coast to coast
Publication:Rural Cooperatives
Date:Nov 1, 2009
Words:310
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