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Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, left, joined Senator Roy Blunt, right, of Missouri in announcing the establishment of two Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) project areas in Missouri. These project areas will set aside acres to grow crops that will be processed into renewable energy to be used for heat, power, liquid biofuels, and bio-based products.

In addition to Missouri, project areas will also be established in Ohio, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. In these project areas, producers can reap financial benefits by growing giant miscanthus, a sterile hybrid warm-season grass that is cultivated through the planting of rhizomes in open fields. Industry estimates show that these project areas and conversion facilities would earn about $50 million per year and create nearly 4,000 jobs by 2014. (USDA)