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Environment or food: Modeling future land use patterns of miscanthus for bioenergy using fine scale data

  • Author(s): Xie, L;
  • MacDonald, SL;
  • Auffhammer, M;
  • Jaiswal, D;
  • Berck, P
  • et al.
Abstract

Using fine-scale panel data and an econometric model, we predict land use change in the Midwestern United States if a new bioenergy crop, Miscanthus × Giganteus (miscanthus), is introduced. To explain farmers' current crop choices, we use a local, limited dependent variable regression based on soil and weather characteristics. To this model, we add miscanthus as a new crop, based on its place dependent BioCro model-predicted yield. We find that the vast majority of land used to grow miscanthus will come from land now used for non-major crops, pasture, woodland, and other uses. This implies that miscanthus can help mitigate climate change by displacing oil usage without causing food conflict.

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