Conclusion

  • When adapted to individual grower conditions, the break-even biomass prices and yields offered here provide benchmarks for evaluating the profitability potential of converting current cropland to bioenergy crops. 
  • Until a market develops for biomass, corn remains a better option for Michigan farmers than biofuel crops.
  • Once a market does develop, break-even budgeting is just a first step in evaluating whether to grow these crops. Other important direct costs will include storage and new equipment needs. 
  • Contract designs and the risks that they present to growers will also deserve careful scrutiny before a grower engages in production of perennial bioenergy crops.  
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