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Forested Farmland and Biofuel Production: Combining Spatial and Economic Data to Estimate the Impact of Land Use-Values on Forestation Rates

  • Smith Minihan, Erin
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    State and national policies driving ethanol production in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the United States have elevated corn prices and subsequently the amount of land devoted to growing corn. There are concerns this may have a negative impact on water quality and other ecosystem services, especially if land is converted from forest to corn production. Pennsylvania has experienced a net increase in forested farmland in recent years, but higher corn prices may slow down or reverse such a pattern. The overall benefit from expanding ethanol production has to take into account land‐use changes that decrease forested land and therefore bear a cost of foregone carbon sequestration and water quality benefits. This paper utilizes land cover and soil maps to create spatially explicit variables to examine the pattern of forestation in a heavily corn producing region of Pennsylvania using multinomial logistic regression. Results are mainly consistent with expectations that land with the highest rents from corn production are least likely to become forested over the period, indicating that the framework developed has potential for further analyses pertaining to agricultural land‐use

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/51064
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    Paper provided by Agricultural Economics Society in its series 83rd Annual Conference, March 30-April 1, 2009, Dublin, Ireland with number 51064.

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    Date of creation: 01 Apr 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc09:51064
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.aes.ac.uk/
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    1. Gurgel Angelo & Reilly John M & Paltsev Sergey, 2007. "Potential Land Use Implications of a Global Biofuels Industry," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-36, December.
    2. Alig, Ralph J. & Adams, Darius M. & McCarl, Bruce A., 1998. "Ecological and economic impacts of forest policies: interactions across forestry and agriculture," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 63-78, October.
    3. Andrew J. Plantinga, 1996. "The Effect of Agricultural Policies on Land Use and Environmental Quality," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1082-1091.
    4. Bockstael, Nancy E. & Irwin, Elena G., 1999. "Economics and the Land Use-Environment Link," Working Papers 197860, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
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