WASHINGTON – The 2014 Farm Bill provides up to $14.5 million in federal funding for bioenergy programs, including using woody biomass, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced.

Farm Bill Funds Bioenergy ResearchUSDA's Rural Development is accepting applications from companies seeking to offset costs associated with converting fossil fuel systems to renewable biomass fuel systems. The department plans to make up to $12 million in payments for eligible bio-refineries through the Repowering Assistance Program.

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture will provide $2.5 million in grants to enhance the development of bio-based transportation fuels, biopower, and new bio-based products.

Additionally the department launched the Bioeconomy Tool Shed, which offers users access to web-based tools, information, statistical data and resources related to the “sustainable production and conversion of biomass into products and fuel, a process often referred to as the bioeconomy.”

The NIFA's Sun Grants program provides funds that encourage bioenergy and biomass research collaboration between government agencies, land-grant colleges and universities, and the private sector. The program provides grants to projects that contribute to research, education and outreach for the regional production and sustainability of possible biobased feedstocks. The project period will not exceed five years.

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