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 about 1150 acres of willow crops enrolled in BCAP in northern NY, with production spread across Jefferson, Lewis, and Oneida counties, situated around biopower facilities owned by ReEnergy Holdings LLC. A successful BCAP program in 2012 paired biomass producers with an end-user in ReEnergy who contracted to purchase all willow produced from these plantings for an eleven-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.

Funding Availability

BCAP funding for the NY project region is currently available. The deadline for enrollment is September 13, 2016. You can read the official program announcement here. Producers must identify an end user for their crop. Please browse the resources on 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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