Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Environment or food: Modeling future land use patterns of miscanthus for bioenergy using fine scale data
- Author(s): Xie, Lunyu
- MacDonald, Sarah L
- Auffhammer, Maximilian
- Jaiswal, Deepak
- Berck, Peter
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.03.013
© 2019 Elsevier B.V. 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.