Date of Graduation

12-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Advisor

Michael P. Popp

Committee Member

Charles P. West

Second Committee Member

Lanier L. Nalley

Abstract

This thesis deals with cost of production for cellulosic energy crops of switchgrass, miscanthus, and energy sorghum. The first chapter explains the rationale for development of decision support software called Energy Crop Analysis & Planning (ENCAP) and Switchgrass Harvest Date, Yield, Nutrient Removal Estimator (SHYNE). The second chapter examines harvest date implications on yield, nutrient removal, opportunity cost of modified sale dates, and post-harvest storage losses. This harvest date analysis leads to a profit maximizing harvest date from the perspective of the producer. While this harvest date may be optimal for the producer, biorefineries may be interested in sourcing switchgrass earlier and later than that profit-maximizing harvest date. Hence price premia that need to be paid to the producer for alternative harvest dates are calculated. The final chapter provides a brief summary, limitations and offers area for future research.

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