Dr. Madhu Khanna
Professor in Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, UIUC
Affiliate of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1995
This research is examining the economic and environmental benefits of growing Miscanthus as a biomass crop in Illinois. Using county level data on soil productivity, climate, and land use, it examines spatial variations in the yield of Miscanthus across Illinois. The profitability of growing Miscanthus under alternative scenarios of demand for renewable fuels for electricity generation by power plants in Illinois is estimated. This is compared to the profits from alternative row crop agriculture using conventional and no-till practices. Furthermore, the potential to sequester carbon using biomass crops is compared to that of row crop no-till agriculture. The implications of biomass crops for farm income, energy costs and sustainable agriculture development are forefront.