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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: The economics of energy crop production
Year: 1994
Author(s): Turhollow, A.
Source Title: Biomass & Bioenergy
Source Type: Journal
pages: 229-241
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: This paper presents 1989 and 2010 cost estimates for growing and supplying biomass for five combinations of major cropping strategies and regions. Four of the dedicated feedstock supply systems (DFSS) use herbaceous energy crop (HEC) technologies, and one uses short-rotation woody crops (SRWC. The costs of producing systems for hybrid poplar, sorghum, switchgrass and energy cane are determined through the examination of such factors as cultivation systems, species, treatments, regions and site variability. The Midwest and South are the areas of focus, because they have the best potential for high yields and for contributing large quantities of land to the production of dedicated energy crops. At the assumed yields, sorghum in the Midwest and energy cane in the Southeast, appear to be the low-cost DFSS. Energy cane, susceptible to frost damage, is restricted to the Deep South. Sorghum should be restricted to cropland with low erosion potential. To be competitive with corn in the Midwest (not taking into account the benefits of government farm programs) and soybeans in the Southeast, dedicated energy crops must sell at between $43 and $60/dry Mg in 1989 and $30 and $43/dry Mg in 2010.