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GTAP Resource #3385

"Impact of Large-Scale Biofuels Production on Cropland-Pasture and Idle Lands"
by Birur, Dileep, Thomas Hertel and Wally Tyner

An important criticism of the indirect land use change (ILUC) estimates of biofuels to date is that they have not accounted for the presence of marginal lands such as cropland-pasture and idle-lands. This paper offers a novel framework for analyzing the impact of biofuels production on these marginal lands. The methodology includes the steps involved in identifying and incorporating marginal land data such as area under cropland-pasture and idle lands such as U.S. Federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) enrolled land into the database, computing the associated land-rents which imply productivity of land, and specifying the marginal lands in the land supply function in a computable general equilibrium model. Two policy scenarios are examined in this study: 1) implementing U.S. and EU biofuel mandates for 2015 and 2) implementing the corn-ethanol only mandate by 2015 in the U.S. These policy experiments also look at the potential implications of releasing or fixing the CRP land enrollment by the USDA on global land-use and land-cover changes. The results revealed that though accessibility of these marginal lands dampens large shifts in cropping patterns, the ILUC emissions measured in terms of grams of CO¬2 equivalent per MJ of biofuel produced, were significantly affected mainly due to increase in deforestation when the cropland-pasture is used for cultivation of crops. Future research to more accurately characterize the productivity of these marginal lands will be needed.

JEL Classification: C68, Q18, Q23, Q24, Q42, R14

Keywords: Biofuels, computable general equilibrium (CGE), Agro Ecological Zones (AEZs), land use change, marginal lands, idle lands, cropland-pasture, conservation reserve program (CRP).

Resource Details (Export Citation) GTAP Keywords
Category: GTAP Application
Status: Not published
Date: 2010
Created: Birur, D. (4/15/2010)
Updated: Batta, G. (5/17/2010)
Visits: 3,212
- Domestic policy analysis
- Trade and the environment
- European Union
- Commonwealth of Independent States

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