The Economics of Selling Crop Residue Biomass for Cellulosic Ethanol Production at the Farm Level

A partial budget decision making framework has been developed to assist crop producers in analyzing the profitability of selling cellulosic biomass from their fields for ethanol production. A multidisciplinary approach is taken in assessing the agronomic and economic factors relevant to biomass contract sales decisions – with direct application made to western Great Plains cropping systems and enterprises. Within this framework the benefits of increased revenue from cellulosic biomass contract sales and potential government assistance payments are considered against possible decreased revenue from diminished crop yields resulting from less crop residue cover and subsequent soil moisture evaporation. Increased biomass harvesting and handling are also considered, as is the cost of replacing crop nutrients removed as part of biomass harvest operations. Examples of the profitability of cellulosic biomass contract sales in center pivot irrigated corn and non-irrigated wheat enterprises are shown.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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