The objectives of this study were to determine (a) whether there had been any change in the interest among Alabama farmers between 1994 and 1997 in growing switchgrass for energy, and (b) whether the Black Belt region of Alabama was more suitable than the rest of the state for establishment of energy plants that would be supplied with switchgrass. A survey showed that farmers would be prepared to plant an average of 103 ha (254 acres) of switchgrass if an average profit/ha of $254 ($103/acre) could be achieved. However, 75% indicated that they would plant switchgrass if a profit of up to $247/ha ($100/acre) could be achieved. A total of 83% indicated willingness to consider signing long-term contracts, and 70% indicated that they would not expect government assistance to plant switchgrass if it was profitable. Results suggest that interest among Alabama farmers in growing switchgrass for energy may have increased slightly since 1994, and that the Black Belt region is probably more suitable for the development of bioenergy plants than the rest of the state, because of greater interest among farmers in growing switchgrass and lower profit expectations.
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