, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 313-333

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

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

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.