Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 10:25 AM

Economic and Agronomic Implications of Developing a Biobased Industry.

Marie E. Walsh, Univ of Tennessee, Dept of Agriculture Economics, 2621 Morgan Circle, Knoxville, TN 37996

Interest in renewable energy has recently accelerated due to record petroleum prices and unstable supplies, and changes in climate indicators among others.  Numerous legislative proposals to increase use substantially above the quantities contained in the recent Energy Bill are being introduced.  Biomass energy will play a significant role, particularly with respect to transportation fuels.  The agricultural and forestry sectors will provide the biomass feedstocks.  Questions arise regarding the ability of these sectors to provide these feedstocks given existing food, feed, fiber, and export demands, and what will be the economic and environmental impacts of meeting these additional needs.  This presentation analyzes the estimated biomass supplies and the economic impacts (crop supplies, prices, commodity payments, farm income) of a large biobased industry.  Potential environmental issues related to changes in land-use patterns will be discussed.