PHOENIX, AZ – Biomass research and development is getting a boost from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the tune of up to $8.7 million available in federal grants.

The agency is also planning to finalize a rule on the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) determining incentives for forest landowners and farmers who produce biomass for renewable energy.

"USDA's support for innovative bioenergy research and education supports rural economic development, reduces carbon pollution and helps decrease our dependence on foreign energy," said Vilsack. 

Applications for research and education grants are available through the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI), a joint program through NIFA and the U.S. Energy Department (DOE) .

The final rule for BCAP includes modifications to cost sharing, eligible types of biomass and other definitions. Interested parties can make learn more about the program and make comments on the rule until April 28 at www.regulations.gov.

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