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Decision Support Tools for Growers

Decision support tools can assist farmers and agricultural land owners thinking about adopting poplar as an energy crop. These models can be used together to help determine if a field site has the characteristics required to produce adequate feedstock yields at a reasonable cost.

Poplar Suitability and Parcel Land Use Model

A special database was created that details land suitable for growing poplar in the Pacific Northwest. The model classifies the suitability of lands with and without irrigation, incorporating climate, soil, and terrain factors. County parcel data was added to the model to show land ownership and land use information.

Directions for using the model are in the following report A Poplar Suitability and Parcel Land Use Study.

3PG Model

The 3PG (Physiological Principles in Predicting Growth) model estimates biomass feedstock yields under different weather conditions and irrigation patterns, and site features, such as slope, soil salinity, and water table depth. The poplar 3PG model was modified for short-rotation woody crops to take into account coppicing management techniques that allows a monthly growth contribution from an existing root mass.

Note: If you are having trouble loading the model, trying using a different web browser.

Farm Budgets

The Farm Budget model captures a detailed description of farm operations, schedules, materials, and prices for growing hybrid poplar as a bioenergy crop. The model can be used to predict the economic viability of a poplar-based biofuel industry by modeling farmers’ cost and return estimates. The model can be used for hybrid poplar crops as well as competing commodities, like alfalfa.

Biomass Production Cost Calculator

The Biomass Production Cost Calculator (BPCC) is a tool for estimating the cost of production and potential returns when growing hybrid poplar as a bioenergy feedstock. The BPCC was created by GreenWood Resources to incorporate all activities and resources required for producing poplar biomass into one document. The BPCC includes a comprehensive list of tasks, equipment costs, fuel consumption, chemical inputs, and labor costs. Estimate of biomass yields, plus harvesting and transportation costs are combined with anticipated delivered price per ton to determine the internal rate of return (IRR) to the grower.

Download the BPCC (Excel spreadsheet)

Download the BPCC User’s Guide (PDF)