Florida FSA - Columbia and Union Counties - August Updates

August 2015

Bulletin Masthead

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Columbia-Union County FSA Updates


2304 SW Main Blvd
Suite 103
Lake City, FL 32025  

386-752-8447 Phone 
855-485-0087 Fax   
  
 Hours 
 Monday - Friday
 8:00 am – 4:30 pm     


County Committee            
The County Committee’s next meeting is scheduled for September 24, 2015 at 8:30 am.

COC Members:

Travis Dicks Chairperson
Ross Terry Vice Chairperson
Delvey Dicks Member
Alan Courson Member
Joshua Smith Member
Walter Rentz Advisor


County Office Staff 
  
Hugh Hunter, County Executive Director 
  
Jim Boyd, Farm Loans
352-372-4668

County Office Staff 
  
Hugh Hunter, County Executive Director 
  
Jim Boyd, Farm Loans
352-372-4668

Bunny Dubas, PT 
  
Jenny Morrison, PT   


Website:  www.fsa.usda.gov

From the Desk of Hugh Hunter, CED

I know everyone is busy in the fields, but don’t forget to call and make an appointment to come by the office before September 30, 2015 to participate in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC) sign-up.


USDA Announces Restart of Biomass Crop Assistance Program for Renewable Energy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that incentives will resume this summer for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners interested in growing and harvesting biomass for renewable energy. The support comes through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. BCAP provides financial assistance to establish and maintain new crops of energy biomass, or who harvest and deliver forest or agricultural residues to a qualifying energy facility. 

Financial assistance is available through BCAP for costs associated with harvesting and transporting agriculture or forest residues to facilities that convert biomass crops into energy. Eligible crops may include corn residue, diseased or insect infested wood materials, or orchard waste. The energy facility must first be approved by USDA to accept the biomass crop. Facilities can apply for, or renew, their BCAP qualification status beginning today.  $11.5 million of federal funds will be allocated to support the delivery of biomass materials through December 2015. Last year, more than 200,000 tons of dead or diseased trees from National Forests and Bureau of Land Management lands were removed and used to produce renewable energy, while reducing the risk of forest fire. Nineteen energy facilities in 10 states participated in the program.

Farmers, ranchers and forest landowners can also receive financial assistance to grow biomass crops that will be converted into energy in selected BCAP project areas. New BCAP project area proposals will be solicited beginning this summer and accepted through fall 2015, with new project area announcements and enrollments taking place in early spring 2016.  The extended proposal submission period allows project sponsors time to complete any needed environmental assessments and allows producers enough lead time to make informed decisions on whether or not to pursue the BCAP project area enrollment opportunity. This fiscal year USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will allocate up to $8 million for producer enrollment to expand and enhance existing BCAP project areas. Additionally, in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill, underserved farmers are eligible for a higher establishment cost share. BCAP projects have supported over 50,000 acres across 74 counties in 11 different project areas.  

For more information, visit www.usda.gov