USDA supports advancement of biofuelsUSDA announced $5.6 million in grants to 220 producers in the country to support the production of advanced biofuels and awarded $4 million in additional grants to further the bioeconomy and reduce national dependence on foreign oil.

“Producing advanced biofuel is a major component of the drive to take control of America's energy future by developing domestic, renewable energy sources,” said Tom Vilsack, USDA secretary. “These resources represent the Obama Administration's commitment to support an 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy that seeks to build a robust bio-based economy. Investments in biofuels will also help create jobs and further diversify the economy in our rural communities.”

Funding was established through the 2008 Farm Bill that allows payments to eligible producers based on the amount of advanced biofuel produced from renewable biomass. According to USDA, eligible feedstocks include crop residue; animal, food and yard waste; vegetable oil; and animal fat.

“Through the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, USDA supports the research, investment and infrastructure necessary to build a strong biofuel industry that creates jobs and broadens the range of feedstocks used to produce renewable fuel,” USDA said.