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Land Use Implications of Expanding Biofuel Demand

Michael R. Dicks, Jody Campiche, Daniel De La Torre Ugarte (), Chad Hellwinckel, Henry L. Bryant and James Richardson ()

Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 2009, vol. 41, issue 2, 435-453

Abstract: The Renewable Fuel Standard mandates in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 will require 36 billion gallons of ethanol to be produced in 2022. The mandates require that 16 of the 36 billion gallons must be produced from cellulosic feedstocks. The potential land use implications resulting from these mandates were examined using two methods, the POLYSYS model and a general equilibrium model. Results of the POLYSYS analysis indicated that 72.1 million tons of corn stover, 23.5 million tons of wheat straw, and 24.7 million acres would be used to produce 109 million tons of switchgrass in 2025 to meet the mandate. Results of the CGE analysis indicated that 10.9 billion bushels of corn grain, 71 million tons of corn stover, and 56,200 tons of switchgrass is needed to meet the mandate.

Date: 2009
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