WASHINGTON, D.C. — Farmers seeking to make their operation energy-efficient are still able to apply for special funding through the USDA.

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides guaranteed loan or grant financing to producers and small businesses in rural areas for the installation of new or updated energy-efficient power systems.

Photo: United States Department of Agriculture

According to a press release Thursday, applications for REAP funding are accepted year-round.

Recipients must use the grants or loans to install or improve certain energy systems including biomass (i.e. biodiesel and ethanol) systems, geothermal electrical systems along with wind-powered generators and solar panels.

Loans can cover up to 75 percent of eligible project costs while the grants will fund up to 25 percent of a project’s expenses.

Producers and other interested applicants are encouraged to contact their local USDA Rural Development Office to apply for loans and grants.

For more information about the REAP program, visit the USDA’s website.