Adopting Energy Crops to Existing Agricultural Systems
When poplars are planted in existing agricultural systems, there can be changes in the price and demand of the already existing crops. To help understand these changes, we are using the Bioenergy Crop Adoption Model (BCAM) as part of the economic model under development. BCAM is an economic optimization and farm production decisions model.
Different regions have different cropping system characteristics, including water consumption. Energy crop adoption occurs when the total cropping system profit increases from production of the energy crop.
When a new energy crop like poplar is adopted, historically grown crops will have reduced acreage or leave the system completely. The marginal cost is represented as the cost of adding one more additional unit of production. The BCAM establishes existing marginal costs and then retains those cost relationships as a constraint for new crop adoption. The BCAM specifies available acreage for poplar feedstock production at specific prices.
The figure at right shows an example of the predicted change of crops as poplar is adopted into the region.