USDA incentivizing farmers to get involved in biofuel production

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DELMARVA – The USDA is investing a large chunk of change in incentivizing farmers to produce biofuels. Up to $800 million is available through the Biofuel Producer Program.

Biofuels can include things like corn and soybean crops and animal waste. Those materials are then converted into ethanol fuel, which can be used for electricity, heating, cooking, or even cleaning up oil spills. “You can use it over and over again, whereas if you’re using fossil fuels, those are used once and then it’s used up. So, it’s an incentive to make things more sustainable, if you will,” said Scott Kessel, Acting State Director for Delaware and Maryland under USDA Rural Development.

It’s an effort that the USDA says could poise Delmarva to be more energy efficient, and help farmers widen their profit margins. “You can sell your crop as food or you can sell it for fuel. So, if it’s more profitable to sell it as food, you’re going to go that way. So, this helps to kind of level the playing field,” said Kessel. “The USDA is making these types of investments because we get it – we understand that the success of America pretty much relies, in large part, on what happens in rural America. The area we’re in, rural Delmarva, is one of those places.”

Farmers interested in the Biofuel Producer Program can find out more information by visiting the USDA’s website. The USDA will announce the official application window for this program within the coming week.

Categories: Delaware, Local News, Maryland, Virginia