DC, August 6, 2004 (ENS): The U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA) will make payments totaling up
to $150 million to commercial bioenergy - ethanol and
biodiesel - producers who increase their production
between October 1, 2004, and September 30, 2005, Agriculture
Secretary Ann Veneman announced Wednesday.
"Increased bioenergy production helps strengthen
the income of soybean, corn and other producers and
lessens U.S. dependence on traditional energy sources,"
Payments will be based on bioenergy production increases
from eligible commodities compared to the same time
period a year earlier.
Eligible commodities are barley, corn, grain sorghum,
oats, rice, wheat, soybeans, cotton seed, sunflower
seed, canola, crambe, rapeseed, safflower, sesame seed,
flaxseed, and mustard seed.
Also eligible under the program are cellulosic crops,
such as switchgrass and hybrid poplars, as well as fats,
oils, and greases - including recycled fats, oils and
greases - derived from an agricultural product, and
any other animal byproduct that may be used to produce
To be eligible under the program, ethanol producers
must produce and sell ethanol commercially and have
authority from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives to produce ethanol for fuel or sell denatured
ethanol rendered unfit for beverage use.
Biodiesel producers must produce and sell biodiesel
commercially, be registered and in good standing with
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and must also
meet the biodiesel standard set by the American Society
for Testing and Materials.
In FY 2003, ethanol producers expanded production by
607 million gallons, and biodiesel producers by 18.5
For the first two quarters of FY 2004, ethanol production
increased 280.9 million gallons, while biodiesel production
grew by 6.9 million gallons.
Signup for the fiscal year (FY) 2005 Bioenergy Program
is underway and will continue until August 31. Apply