Thursday, October 28, 2010

Two New Biomass Crops May Be Promising

Two little known crops are making big news in the agricultural community in Florida.  Both are being recommended by farmers already producing them as crops that can be used on fallow ground or between crop plantings.
The first is Camelina, which is an oil crop in the Brassica family.  It is grown for it's oily seed, which is valuable as aviation fuel.  The seed is harvested and crushed for the oil and the seed cake can be used in animal feed.  In addition, the stubble left in the field can also be used for grazing.

The second photo is kenaf, a member of the hibiscus family, which is grown for it's fast growing biomass and used in biofuel production.  The seeds produced can be crushed for oil and the fibrous plant itself is useful as a biomass plant for ethanol or other fiber uses.

BCAP (Biomass Crop Assistance Program) will be available for several years to producers who are ready to try these new crops.  Contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency to find out more about qualifying for the BCAP!