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Bioenergy Crop Production in the United States: Potential Quantities, Land Use Changes, and Economic Impacts on the Agricultural Sector


  • Marie Walsh
  • Daniel de la Torre Ugarte
  • Hosein Shapouri
  • Stephen Slinsky


The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energyjointly analyzed the economic potential for,and impacts of, large-scale bioenergy cropproduction in the United States. Anagricultural sector model (POLYSYS) wasmodified to include three potential bioenergycrops (switchgrass, hybrid poplar, and willow). At farmgate prices of US $2.44/GJ, anestimated 17 million hectares of bioenergycrops, annually yielding 171 million dry Mg ofbiomass, could potentially be produced at aprofit greater than existing agricultural usesfor the land. The estimate assumes highproductivity management practices are permittedon Conservation Reserve Program lands. Traditional crops prices are estimated toincrease 9 to 14 percent above baseline pricesand farm income increases annually by US $6.0billion above baseline.At farmgate prices of US $1.83/GJ, anestimated 7.9 million hectares of bioenergycrops, annually yielding 55 million dry Mg ofbiomass, could potentially be produced at aprofit greater than existing agricultural usesfor the land. The estimate assumes managementpractices intended to achieve highenvironmental benefits on Conservation ReserveProgram lands. Traditional crops prices areestimated to increase 4 to 9 percent abovebaseline prices and farm income increasesannually by US $2.8 billion above baseline. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Marie Walsh & Daniel de la Torre Ugarte & Hosein Shapouri & Stephen Slinsky, 2003. "Bioenergy Crop Production in the United States: Potential Quantities, Land Use Changes, and Economic Impacts on the Agricultural Sector," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 24(4), pages 313-333, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:24:y:2003:i:4:p:313-333
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1023625519092

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:ags:ersaer:147560 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ray, Daryll E. & Moriak, Theo F., 1976. "POLYSIM: A National Agricultural Policy Simulator," Journal of Agricultural Economics Research, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, vol. 28(1), pages 1-8, January.
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    1. Jacinto F. Fabiosa & John C. Beghin & Fengxia Dong & JAmani Elobeid & Simla Tokgoz & Tun-Hsiang Yu, 2010. "Land Allocation Effects of the Global Ethanol Surge: Predictions from the International FAPRI Model," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(4), pages 687-706.
    2. Rosburg, Alicia & Miranowski, John & Jacobs, Keri, 2013. "Cellulosic Biofuel Supply with Heterogeneous Biomass Suppliers: An Application to Switchgrass-based Ethanol," Staff General Research Papers Archive 36359, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Fewell, Jason E. & Bergtold, Jason S. & Williams, Jeffery R., 2011. "Farmers’ Willingness to Grow Switchgrass as a Cellulosic Bioenergy Crop: A Stated Choice Approach," 2011 Annual Meeting, June 29-July 1, 2011, Banff, Alberta,Canada 109776, Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. Feng Song & Jinhua Zhao & Scott M. Swinton, 2011. "Switching to Perennial Energy Crops Under Uncertainty and Costly Reversibility," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(3), pages 764-779.
    5. Kocoloski, Matt & Michael Griffin, W. & Scott Matthews, H., 2011. "Impacts of facility size and location decisions on ethanol production cost," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 47-56, January.
    6. Walsh, Marie E., 2005. "Non-Traditional Sources of Biomass Feedstocks," Energy from Agriculture: New Technologies, Innovative Programs and Success Stories, December 14-15, 2005, St. Louis, Missouri 7625, Farm Foundation.
    7. Bai, Yun & Ouyang, Yanfeng & Pang, Jong-Shi, 2016. "Enhanced models and improved solution for competitive biofuel supply chain design under land use constraints," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 249(1), pages 281-297.
    8. Sharp, Benjamin E. & Miller, Shelie A., 2014. "Estimating maximum land use change potential from a regional biofuel industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 261-269.
    9. Moon, Jin-Young & Apland, Jeffrey & Folle, Solomon & Mulla, David, 2016. "A Watershed Level Economic Analysis of Cellulosic Biofuel Feedstock Production with Consideration of Water Quality," Sustainable Agriculture Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 5(3).
    10. Lutes, Jennifer & Popp, Michael, 2015. "Switchgrass as an Income Stabilizing Crop for Cow-calf Producers Impacted by Drought," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205416, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Gan, Jianbang, 2007. "Supply of biomass, bioenergy, and carbon mitigation: Method and application," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 6003-6009, December.
    12. Fewell, Jason E. & Bergtold, Jason S. & Williams, Jeffery R., 2016. "Farmers' willingness to contract switchgrass as a cellulosic bioenergy crop in Kansas," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 292-302.
    13. Ian J. Bonner & Kara G. Cafferty & David J. Muth & Mark D. Tomer & David E. James & Sarah A. Porter & Douglas L. Karlen, 2014. "Opportunities for Energy Crop Production Based on Subfield Scale Distribution of Profitability," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(10), pages 1-18, October.
    14. Fewell, Jason & Lynes, Melissa & Williams, Jeffery & Bergtold, Jason, 2013. "Kansas Farmers Interest and Preferences for Growing Cellulosic Bioenergy Crops," Journal of the ASFMRA, American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, vol. 2013, pages 1-22, June.
    15. Okwo, Adaora & Thomas, Valerie M., 2014. "Biomass feedstock contracts: Role of land quality and yield variability in near term feasibility," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 67-80.
    16. Anderson, Leigh & Schoney, Richard & Nolan, James, 2014. "Evaluating the Consequences of Second Generation Bioenergy Crops on a Grain/Livestock Economy: An Example of the Canadian Prairies," Miscellaneous Publications 206440, University of Saskatchewan, Department of Bioresource Policy Business and Economics.
    17. Lynes, Melissa K. & Bergtold, Jason S. & Williams, Jeffery R. & Fewell, Jason E., 2012. "Determining Farmers’ Willingness-To-Grow Cellulosic Biofuel Feedstocks on Agricultural Land," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124777, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    18. Dumortier, Jerome, 2015. "Impact of agronomic uncertainty in biomass production and endogenous commodity prices on cellulosic biofuel feedstock composition," IU SPEA AgEcon Papers 198707, Indiana University, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
    19. Bai, Yun & Ouyang, Yanfeng & Pang, Jong-Shi, 2012. "Biofuel supply chain design under competitive agricultural land use and feedstock market equilibrium," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1623-1633.
    20. Adriana Ignaciuk, 2005. "Energy policies and their impact on establishing nature areas in Poland - an AGE analysis," ERSA conference papers ersa05p600, European Regional Science Association.
    21. Chunzeng Wang & Jason Johnston & David Vail & Jared Dickinson & David Putnam, 2015. "High-Precision Land-Cover-Land-Use GIS Mapping and Land Availability and Suitability Analysis for Grass Biomass Production in the Aroostook River Valley, Maine, USA," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, March.
    22. Dumortier, Jerome, 2014. "Impact of different bioenergy crop yield estimates on the cellulosic ethanol feedstock mix," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 171168, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.


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