Environmental Science Division (EVS)a Division of Argonne National Laboratory

Willingness of Farmers to Grow Energy Crops: Role of Behavioral Drivers

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Dr. Madhu Khanna
USDOE Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Thursday, September 13, 2018
11:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
Argonne National Laboratory
TCS Building 240
Room 4301

Perennial energy crops for biofuels are appealing because they can be grown productively on marginal land and provide various ecosystem services including soil carbon sequestration and reduction in nitrogen leaching and run-off. However, their production involves production risks, high establishment costs and long-term commitment of land without the coverage of crop insurance potentially available for conventional crops. This can create disincentives for farmers that are risk averse, loss averse and present-biased to convert land from annual crops to perennials.

This presentation will analyze the evidence on behavioral drivers of farmer decisions to produce perennial energy crops and its implications for the price of biomass and the spatial pattern of production of these energy crops in the rainfed region of the U.S. This seminar will also examine the efficacy of various market and policy incentives needed to induce production of these crops.


Dr. Madhu Khanna is the ACES Distinguished Professor of Environmental Economics in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics and Associate Director of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Her research examines the incentives for adoption of efficiency-enhancing technologies, their potential for protecting the environment and the design and implications of alternative policies to induce adoption. Her research has focused on studying the economic and environmental impact of agro-environmental technologies, such as precision agriculture and biofuels, and the efficacy of voluntary approaches and other policies for cost-effective environmental protection in agriculture and industry.

She has co-authored more than 130 papers, chapters and reports and co-edited two volumes of the Handbook of Bioenergy Economics and Policy. She has served as a member of the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and on the Board of Directors of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and the South Asian Network of Development and Environmental Economists. She has held editorial positions at several environmental and agricultural economics journals, including the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. She is a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, a University of Illinois Scholar and a Leopold Leadership Fellow of the Woods Institute at Stanford University.

Dr. Madhu Khanna
Dr. Madhu Khanna [Source: L. Brian Stauffer, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign]
portrait of Shruti Khadka Mishra