Biomass Crop Assistance Program

Sustainable commercial production of willow biomass crops in northern New York State is being catalyzed by the USDA Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). This program is helping landowners to overcome the challenges of growing a new dedicated energy crop. The broad goals of BCAP are to improve domestic energy security, reduce atmospheric carbon pollution and spur rural economic development by providing assistance to land owners who establish and produce new biomass feedstocks such as shrub willow. This also creates innovations and increases awareness and adoption of the new crop. There are currently over 1100 acres of willow crops enrolled in the BCAP program in northern NY, with production spread across Jefferson, Lewis, and Oneida counties, situated around two biopower facilities owned by ReEnergy Holdings LLC. BCAP has successfully paired biomass producers with an end-user in ReEnergy who has contracted to purchase all willow produced over an 11 year period, creating market stability. BCAP assists landowners through partial establishment grants to cover a percentage of crop establishment costs, as well as annual acreage incentive payments based on soil conservation rates. SUNY-ESF, with support from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Northeast Woody/Warm-season Biomass Consortium (NEWBio), is providing a range of extension services to assist current and potential growers produce this new crop.

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 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!


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