Perennial, cellulosic bioenergy crops represent a risky investment. The potential for adoption of these crops depends not only on mean net returns, but also on the associated probability distributions and on the risk preferences of farmers. Using six-year observed crop yield data from highly productive and marginal sites in the southern Great Lakes region and assuming risk neutrality, we calculate expected breakeven biomass yields and prices compared to a base case of corn. Next we develop Monte Carlo budget simulations of stochastic output prices and yields. Crop yield simulations decompose risk into three components: crop establishment survival, time to maturity, and mature yield variability. Results reveal that corn with grain and stover removal is the least risky investment option, and it dominates all perennial systems considered across a wide range of constant absolute risk aversion levels. Perennial bioenergy crops have a higher potential to successfully compete with corn under marginal crop production conditions.