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USDA releases biomass-bolstering plan

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a plan it said will boost biomass supply chain resiliency for domestic biobased product manufacturing, while also advancing environmental sustainability and market opportunities for small and mid-sized producers.

The report — Building a Resilient Biomass Supply: A Plan to Enable the Bioeconomy in America — is one of the key USDA deliverables of President

Biden’s Executive Order 14081, which was issued in 2022 and defined goals and new priorities meant to catalyse action inside and outside of government to advance America’s domestic bioeconomy.

“The increasing demand for biomass is a golden opportunity to expand markets and create new revenue for American farmers, ranchers and forest landowners, particularly in rural areas,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Council meeting in Washington, DC.

“We are proud to support President Biden’s commitment to advance America’s domestic bioeconomy and ultimately create new markets and jobs. This comprehensive roadmap will strengthen our production and preprocessing systems to provide incentives for producers and manufacturers, so that biomass can be used to fuel the American bioeconomy.”

According to a recently published report by USDA’s BioPreferred Program, biobased products contributed $489 billion (€449 billion) to the U.S. economy in 2021, a more than 5% increase from $464 billion (€426 billion) in 2020.

Driven by this consumer demand for biobased products, USDA’s plan to support a resilient and responsibly sourced biomass supply chain furthers the Department’s commitment to developing a circular bioeconomy, where agricultural resources are harvested, consumed and reused in a sustainable manner, it said.

“Strengthening research and development, capacity building, and biomass market development will help bolster existing markets and catalyse new markets,” said Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA chief scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics.

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