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Renewable energy projects announced by the USDA

Friday, June 17, 2011

USDA to offer incentives to farmers who sow hybrid grass for biomass production.
USDA to offer incentives to farmers who sow hybrid grass for biomass production.

Four more project areas for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) were introduced June 15, 2011, by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Land in Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania will be used to grow crops that serve as sources of renewable energy.

This new acreage will cultivate giant miscanthus, a hybrid, warm-season grass that can fuel heating and power systems, be changed into liquid biofuels and used to create products made up of biomass.

"Today's announcement will make a significant contribution to rural America and create nearly 4,000 jobs, demonstrating the great economic potential the production of renewable energy holds for our rural communities," Vilsack said.

Industry estimates predict each new project region and accompanying production facility will bring in around $50 million per year. The BCAP project areas designated by the USDA will offer financial incentives to agricultural producers to maintain crops used for energy.

Farm owners who work to produce these sources of renewable power may earn increased revenue which they can use to purchase additional agricultural equipment. John Deere, a leading provider of such implements, supplies growers with tractors, harvesting equipment and Gator utility vehicles.  

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