Environmental, Social & Economic Impacts projects

BioFuels Research Initiatives and Extension: Synergizing Engagement with Stakeholders - Completed

This project identified factors associated with growers’ adoption of energy crops and consumers’ use of cellulosic biofuels. The group assessed growers’ knowledge of the production, marketing, and preferred policy incentives for energy crops; rural and urban consumer perceptions of the usefulness of cellulosic biofuels; potential barriers to the use and production of biofuels; and what information potential growers and consumers of biofuels need.  The team disseminated the survey findings to stakeholders and developed connections among stakeholders that will enable them to share information, ideas, and perspectives, thus helping to develop a learning community among consumers, producers, and researchers.

project Highlights

2010 Highlights

We are building upon studies of Illinois farmers’ perceptions of Miscanthus. This study broadens that perspective to include energy crops generally among growers and consumers in the U.S. and Argentina and builds a communications network among researchers, producers and consumers. In 2010, the mail survey of Illinois farmers was completed, the questionnaire was sent to our partner in Argentina, focus group discussions were held with farmers from Argentina and Illinois, and development began on a consumer questionnaire.

2009 Highlights

A questionnaire, cover letter, focus group questions, and consent form were completed in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. The Illinois farmer mail survey resulted in a response rate of 33%. Project staff developed the focus group protocol and conducted three focus group discussions with a group of visiting Argentine farmers. Sites and local partners have been chosen for the five Illinois focus groups to be held between 2009 harvest and spring 2010 planting. Project staff are working with several farmers' associations in Argentina and Brazil to get farmer contact information for surveys and focus groups. Preliminary data analysis indicates Illinois farmers anticipate increasing energy crop acreage in the next five years. Both Illinois and Argentine farmers look for stable government policies and reliable economic information for decision-making.



Published in 2012

Producer Perceptions and Information Needs Regarding Their Adoption of Bioenergy Crops, Maria Villamil, Myles Alexander, Anne Heinze Silvis, Michael E. Gray, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16(6), pp. 3604-3612, doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2012.03.033, August 2012.



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