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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Farmer willingness to grow switchgrass for energy production
Year: 2007
Author(s): Jensen, K. C., Clark, C. D., Ellis, P., English, B., Menard, J., Walsh, M., De La Torre Ugarte, D. G.
Source Title: Biomass & Bioenery
Source Type: Journal
pages: 773-781
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: A survey of Tennessee farmers was conducted to analyze their willingness to supply switchgrass to an emerging energy market. The majority of respondents had not heard of growing switchgrass for energy production and roughly half were unsure as to whether they would be willing to grow switchgrass. For those with an opinion about whether they would grow switchgrass, a two limit Tobit model was used to ascertain the effects of various farm and producer characteristics on the share of farmland they would be willing to convert. Higher net farm income per hectare had a negative influence on share, reflecting the opportunity cost of converting land. Younger farmers with higher levels of educational attainment and off-farm incomes were willing to convert a higher share of farmland. Farm size and the use of leased farmland had a negative influence on willingness to convert hectares to switchgrass production. Interestingly, while erosion issues did not appear to influence share, desire to provide wildlife habitat did. Views about on-farm issues, such as market development, use of contracts, or potential harvest limitations under the Conservation Reserve Program influenced conversion share. However, views on broader national policy issues did not significantly influence farmer willingness to convert farmland.