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Assessing farmers' willingness to supply biomass as energy feedstock: Cereal straw in Apulia (Italy)

Giacomo Giannoccaro, Bernardo C. de Gennaro, Emilio De Meo and Maurizio Prosperi

Energy Economics, 2017, vol. 61, issue C, 179-185

Abstract: Cereal straw currently has end-uses such as animal bedding and feeding, but there are no official statistics regarding the fraction of straw that is not used. Although cereal straw is an abundant source of biomass still largely unexploited for energy purposes, the feedstock market interplay with current straw uses (e.g. animal bedding and feeding) and on-farm practices (e.g. chopped and incorporated) is still unknown. This research used farmers' stated preferences to assess the supply curve (i.e. amount and price) of cereal straw for bio-energy purposes. In addition, we performed an econometric regression on the straw price demanded by farmers (willingness to accept). A sample of data gathered in 2014 from 203 cereal growers in Apulia region (southern Italy) was used, and the results show that more than half of respondents would sell their cereal straw on the feedstock market, and that the preferred sales method is in-swath. The price requested would be higher (15.15EURha−1) than that currently applied on the local straw market (12.00EURha−1). Explanatory factors refer to farmers who currently burn stubble on-field, farmers involved in Agro-Environmental Schemes or contract provision, farmers with off-farm employment and farms with larger areas dedicated to cereals.

Keywords: Bio-energy; Farmers; Feedstock market; Heckman model; Willingness to accept (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C10 C52 Q42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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