USDA secretary Tom Vilsack said the funding will help local producers increase the production and availability of renewable energy and thus help the nation begin to reduce its reliance on foreign oil.

USDA will provide the funding through its Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels program, under which payments are made to eligible producers to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels.

Payments are based on the amount of biofuels a recipient produces from renewable biomass, other than corn kernel starch.

In Dubuque, Iowa, Western Dubuque Biodiesel secured a $487,871 payment to produce 30 million gallons per year of biodiesel using soybean oil, canola oil and tallow esters as feedstock.

In Kinsale, Virginia, the Potomac Supply Corp secured a $36,530 payment for producing two types of advanced biofuels.