THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND BIOFUEL PRODUCTION ON AGRICULTURAL LAND USE AND BIOMASS PRODUCTION

Open Access
Author:
Yenerall, Jacqueline Nicole
Graduate Program:
Agricultural Economics
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
None
Committee Members:
  • James Samuel Shortle, Thesis Advisor
  • Richard C Ready, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • climate change
  • land use change
  • biofuel policy
Abstract:
This project examines the influence that climate change and biofuel production could have on agricultural land use decisions in Pennsylvania. The first chapter develops a land use model based in Ricardian theory that uses climatic, environmental and economic variables to predict the current spatial pattern of land use across New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. Chapters two and three examine the outcomes of several different climate and ethanol market scenarios in Pennsylvania. This study found that an increase in temperature and precipitation consistent with the findings of the Union of Concerned Scientists increases in grain and soy production, a decrease in corn and hay production but causes a decline in rents. An extension of current biofuel policy creates an extreme increase in corn production and an increase in rents, but could potential have negative environmental impacts. Finally, the introduction and production of switch grass will cause a decline in all other alternate land uses, with an increase in hay production coming primarily from a decrease in pasture.