USDA designates land for 'fuel shed'

The US Department of Energy (USDA) has accepted a cooperative's proposal for a Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) area designation. Named 'Plant, Baby, Plant', the designation was accepted by the USDA on 4 May 2011.

This designation of land will see 30 western Missouri counties and eight counties in Kansas form a 'fuel shed' in which the farmers will grow energy crops on land unusable for other purposes.

The central part of this fuel shed will feature Show Me Energy's plant, located in Centerview, Missouri. The plant will convert energy crops supplied by the farmers into energy, replacing the need for fossil-based fuel.

'Show Me Energy is deeply honoured that its BCAP project area is one of the first BCAP fuel shed areas designated by USDA,' says the cooperative's board president Steve Flick. 'Secretary Vilsack is to be applauded for his hard work to get BCAP off the ground. For our part, we at Show Me Energy firmly believe that, as farmers, we have a lot to contribute toward making our country less dependent on foreign oil.'

'Show Me Energy's goals are to support the development of renewable biomass energy by creating new, renewable energy products made from farm-grown biomass crops, provide additional revenue streams for farmers and support the local rural economy through the creation of new jobs,' adds the CEO of Show Me Energy Kurt Herman. 'This BCAP designation will be a real plus for us in meeting our goals. And, by focussing on use of land not well suited for row crop production and by following best conservation practices, we will not be displacing any food or feed production by participating in BCAP. We are ready to go.'

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