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FSA Releases Process Fact Sheet for BCAP-CHST Payments Program

September 12, 2009

The FSA has recently released a short three page fact sheet outlining important information regarding crop eligibility, payment methods, and participation steps of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. 

Crop eligibility is limited to the following:
1. Pre-commercial thinnings or invasive species from National Forest System and Bureau of Land Management lands that are byproducts of preventive treatments, are removed to reduce fire potential or infestation or disease, would not be used for another higher-value product, and are harvested in accordance with applicable laws.
2. Any organic matter that is available on a renewable basis from non-Federal lands or lands belonging to an Indian tribe including: crop residues from commodities eligible to receive payments under Title 1 of the 2008 Farm Bill and waste material including crop residue and other waste material. (Note here that Title 1 commodities themselves are not eligible and that Title 1 crop residues are limited to 20% of the total program payments.)
3. Collection, Harvest, Storage, and Transportation Matching Payments (CHST) will not be made for material delivered prior to application approval.

Steps in the Biomass Crop Assistance Program:
1. Biomass Conversion Facilities establish qualification with the Farm Service Agency.  To qualify, conversion facilities must be entirely separate from ownership of the biomass material and agree to purchase materials from biomass producers on a dollar per dry town basis and provide verification to the biomass producer of tonnage.
2. Biomass producers and conversion facilities enter into sales contracts, purchase commitment agreements, or nonbinding letters of intent and submit documents to FSA.
3. Biomass producers apply for CHST matching payments from FSA before delivery of material to the conversion facility.
4. Eligible biomass producers with approved applications submit payment requests after sale and delivery of material to the conversion facility.  Producers must submit scale tickets and invoices are submitted to the County Office.

For more information regarding eligible materials and the application process go to your local USDA Service Center or visit www.fas.usda.gov

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