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2 November 2017 Biomass for biofuel: understanding the risks and opportunities for Ontario agriculture
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Abstract

Markets for biomass are emerging across Canada; however, considerable concern has been expressed regarding the ability of Canada’s arable land base to sustainably meet this emerging demand. Using Ontario as a case study, economic and environmental factors that must be considered when designing biomass production systems based on either crop residues from maize (Zea mays L.), soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], or winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) or on dedicated biomass crops such as Miscanthus (Miscanthus spp.) or switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) are reviewed. The Ontario agricultural land base is characterized by a growing prevalence of maize and soybean rotations, a high percentage of total arable land under the Canada Land Inventory categorized as Class 1 and 2, and geographically dispersed Class 3–5 land. Economic and environmental risks and opportunities of biomass production are demonstrated to be a function of the source of biomass, land availability, land classification, and existing land use patterns.

Copyright remains with the author(s) or their institution(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.
B. Deen "Biomass for biofuel: understanding the risks and opportunities for Ontario agriculture," Canadian Journal of Plant Science 97(6), 964-971, (2 November 2017). https://doi.org/10.1139/cjps-2016-0401
Received: 12 December 2016; Accepted: 1 September 2017; Published: 2 November 2017
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