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Abstract

Global harvested area of crops has expanded (+8%) in the period of 2004-2011. Nevertheless, some crops such as maize, sugarcane, and oilseeds expanded area more rapidly than the average rise. Although, some economists attribute this effect to biofuel production, economy also has encouraged expansion in cropland to satisfy food demand. This paper analyzes the impact that biofuel production and economic variables has had on harvested area for corn, sugar, and oilseeds. Our results suggest that economic variables are much more important than ethanol production in explaining changes on harvested area of corn and sugarcane. For oilseed area, the significant factor was the 800 percent increase in biodiesel production, which overwhelmed other factors.

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