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Title:Costs of maintaining the conservation reserve program in Illinois in the presence of biofuels
Author(s):Li, Linlin
Advisor(s):Khanna, Madhu
Department / Program:Agr & Consumer Economics
Discipline:Agricultural & Applied Econ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
soil rental rate (SRR)
Maintaining Costs
Abstract:The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has played a key role in reducing soil erosion, improving water quality and protecting wildlife habitat. Rising crop prices, partly induced by the expansion of biofuel production, is likely to increase the maintenance cost of the program. This study develops a dynamic, multi-market, mathematical program to estimate the cost of maintaining CRP enrollment at the 2007 level in Illinois over 2007-2020 under exogenously given ethanol prices. We conduct the analysis under three policy scenarios, including the existing CRP policy and two modified policies that provide subsidies to induce energy crop production on expiring CRP land. We also explore the mix of biofuels produced from corn and various cellulosic feedstocks over this period under these policies. Our results show that in the presence of biofuels, to maintain CRP enrollment at the 2007 level, government expenditure would increase by as much as $0.1-3.9 billion depending on ethanol prices over the 2007-2020 compared to a no-biofuel baseline. If the government allows farmers to grow perennial energy crops on retired CRP land and provides existing soil rental payments, it will lead to a 37.7% ($2.3 billion) reduction in the maintenance cost relative to the existing CRP policy. If the subsidy provided is similar to those under the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, the saving in the maintenance cost will be 34.4% ($2.1 billion) compared to the existing CRP policy. We find about 10.5 billion gallons of ethanol can be produced in Illinois at an ethanol price of $4.0 per gallon, with less than 0.6 billion gallons coming from CRP land. Of the 10.5 billion gallons, corn ethanol would account for 68.6% (7.3 billion gallons), while the rest is composed of 2.6 billion gallons of ethanol derived from corn stover and 0.5-0.7 billion gallons produced from miscanthus.
Issue Date:2012-02-06
Genre:thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/29684
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Linlin Li
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-02-06
Date Deposited:2011-12


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