Agricultural markets often feature significant transport costs and spatially distributed production and processing which causes spatial imperfect competition. Spatial economics considers the firms’ decisions regarding location and spatial price strategy separately, usually on the demand side, and under restrictive assumptions. Therefore, alternative approaches are needed to explain, e.g., the location of new ethanol plants in the U.S. at peripheral as well as at central locations and the observation of different spatial price strategies in the market. We use an agent-based simulation model to analyze location and spatial pricing in a general model under multi-firm competition, two-dimensional space, and a continuum of potential price strategies. The results show, e.g., that depending on the location of a processor, different price strategies can be observed, spatial price discrimination can increase with the number of competitors, and elasticity in the producers’ supply functions can be identified as stabilizing factor of processor’s location.
Traffic flows in the U.S. have been affected by the substantial increase and, as of January 2009, decrease in biofuel production and use. This paper considers a framework to study the effect on grain transportation flows of the 2005 Energy Act and subsequent legislation, which mandated higher production levels of biofuels, e.g. ethanol and biodiesels. Future research will incorporate changes due to the recent economic slowdown.
Land-use change models are important tools for integrated environmental management. Through scenario analysis they can help to identify near-future critical locations in the face of environmental change. A dynamic, spatially explicit, land-use change model is presented for the regional scale: CLUE-S. The model is specifically developed for the analysis of land use in small regions (e.g., a watershed or province) at a fine spatial resolution. The model structure is based on systems theory to allow the integrated analysis of land-use change in relation to socio-economic and biophysical driving factors. The model explicitly addresses the hierarchical organization of land use systems, spatial connectivity between locations and stability. Stability is incorporated by a set of variables that define the relative elasticity of the actual land-use type to conversion. The user can specify these settings based on expert knowledge or survey data. Two applications of the model in the Philippines and Malaysia are used to illustrate the functioning of the model and its validation.
Growing concern about climate change and energy security has led to increasing interest in developing renewable, domestic energy sources for meeting electricity, heating and fuel needs in the United States. Illinois has significant potential to produce bioenergy crops, including corn, soybeans, miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus), and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). However, land requirements for bioenergy crops place them in competition with more traditional agricultural uses, in particular food production. Additionally, environmental and economic conditions, including soil quality, climate, and variable agricultural costs, vary significantly across Illinois. The intent of this study is to examine the spatial and economic conditions necessary for introducing bioenergy crops into the Illinois landscape. In this paper, we develop a spatial dynamic model to explore the process by which individual farmer agents optimize profits through crop selection and cost minimization. This dynamic agent-based modeling approach will allow us to determine the optimal spatial arrangement of crops throughout Illinois as it is influenced by several factors, including the use of subsidies, changes in travel costs and crop demand, and the introduction of new ethanol production plants. This article discusses model development and specification, and outlines future calibration procedures and scenario tests that will be formalized in future work.
Agricultural activities have dramatically altered our planet?s land surface. To understand the extent and spatial distribution of these changes, we have developed a new global data set of croplands and pastures circa 2000 by combining agricultural inventory data and satellite-derived land cover data. The agricultural inventory data, with much greater spatial detail than previously available, is used to train a land cover classification data set obtained by merging two different satellite-derived products (Boston University?s MODIS-derived land cover product and the GLC2000 data set). Our data are presented at 5 min ( 10 km) spatial resolution in longitude by longitude, have greater accuracy than previously available, and for the first time include statistical confidence intervals on the estimates. According to the data, there were 15.0 (90% confidence range of 12.2?17.1) million km2 of cropland (12% of the Earth?s ice-free land surface) and 28.0 (90% confidence range of 23.6?30.0) million km2 of pasture (22%) in the year 2000.
When fuelwood is harvested at a rate exceeding natural growth and inefficient conversion technologies are used, negative environmental and socio-economic impacts, such as fuelwood shortages, natural forests degradation and net GHG emissions arise. In this study, we argue that analyzing fuelwood supply/demand spatial patterns require multiscale approaches to effectively bridge the gap between national results with local situations. The proposed methodology is expected to help 1) focusing resources and actions on local critical situations, starting from national wide analyses and 2) estimating, within statistically robust confidence bounds, the proportion of non-renewable harvested fuelwood. Starting from a previous work, we selected a county-based fuelwood hot spot in the Central Highlands of Mexico, identified from a national wide assessment, and developed a grid-based model in order to identify single localities that face concomitant conditions of high fuelwood consumption and insufficient fuelwood resources. By means of a multicriteria analysis (MCA), twenty localities, out of a total of 90, were identified as critical in terms of six indicators related to fuelwood use and availability of fuelwood resources. Fuelwood supply/demand balances varied among localities from 16.2 2.5 Gg y 1 to 4.4 2.6 Gg y 1, while fractions of non-renewable fuelwood varied from 0 to 96%. These results support the idea that balances and non-renewable fuelwood fractions (mandatory inputs for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) cookstoves projects) must be calculated on a locality by locality basis if gross under or over-estimations want to be avoided in the final carbon accounting.
This paper describes a methodology to explore the (future) spatial distribution of biofuel crops in Europe. Two main types of biofuel crops are distinguished: biofuel crops used for the production of biodiesel or bioethanol, and second-generation biofuel crops. A multiscale, multi-model approach is used in which biofuel crops are allocated over the period 2000?2030. The area of biofuel crops at the national level is determined by a macroeconomic model. A spatially explicit land use model is used to allocate the biofuel crops within the countries. Four scenarios have been prepared based on storylines influencing the extent and spatial distribution of biofuel crop cultivation. The allocation algorithm consists of two steps. In the first step, processing plants are allocated based on location factors that are dependent on the type of biofuel crop processed and scenario conditions. In the second step, biofuel crops are allocated accounting for the transportation costs to the processing plants. Both types of biofuel crops are allocated separately based on different location factors. Despite differences between the scenarios, mostly the same areas are showing growth in biofuel crop cultivation in all scenarios. These areas stand out because they have a combination of well-developed infrastructural and industrial facilities and large areas of suitable arable land. The spatially explicit results allow an assessment of the potential consequences of large-scale biofuel crop cultivation for ecology and environment.