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Special Announcement...

New funding has been released for the USDA Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) for people interested in growing willow bioenergy crops in nine eligible counties across northern New York State. The deadline for applications is September 25, 2015. The program provides incentives directly to growers for crop establishment costs, an annual soil conservation payment, and provides a purchasing contract with ReEnergy Holdings, the project sponsor, who owns and operates several biopower facilities in the region. Read the official program announcement here and find more information here. Contact your local USDA FSA agency to sign up or get more information about the program. Please browse this website and contact SUNY-ESF at willow@esf.edu or (315) 470-6775 for a free consultation or other questions about growing shrub willow biomass crops. Don't miss this excellent opportunity to be a pioneer in the renewable bioenergy future of New York State!

The Willow Project at SUNY-ESF

  • Shrub willow biomass crops

  • Planting a willow crop

  • One-year-old willow plants in spring

  • Willow stems

  • Three-year-old willow

  • Student research

  • Three-year-old willow at harvest

  • Harvesting a willow crop

  • Unloading willow chips

  • Willow demonstration on National Bioenergy Day

  • Willow chips mixed with forest chips at ReEnergy biopower facility

  • Willow nesting habitat

  • Willow flower

  • Mature willow crops in winter

  • A willow living snow fence

Driven by the challenges of rural development, energy independence and environmental sustainability, research on willow biomass crops for renewable energy and environmental applications has been ongoing at SUNY-ESF since 1986. Shrub willow is a short-rotation woody crop that produces large amounts of harvestable biomass at a rate of about four to five dry tons per acre each year. Willow can be grown on idle or marginal lands, stimulating rural development while also producing numerous environmental benefits. Willow is a climate-neutral renewable energy source that does not increase greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. Willow can reduce soil erosion, mitigate water pollution, increase wildlife habitat and biodiversity, limit the use of fertilizers and herbicides, and be used for bioremediation applications such as vegetative landfill covers and treatment of organic wastes. Shrub willow also has many other environmentally-friendly applications such as living snow fences and stream bank stabilization. One willow biomass planting can be harvested up to seven times on a three- or four-year rotation cycle with limited maintenance between harvests once the crop is established. ESF has teamed up with more than 20 universities, commercial partners and non-profit organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada to conduct research and facilitate the commercialization of willow biomass crops. Commercial willow production is now happening on over 1100 acres of land in New York State and is being supported by the USDA Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). Please click on the links below and at the top of the screen for more information!

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