• Scholarly report

U.S. agricultural and forestry impacts of the Energy Independence and Security Act FASOM results and model description. Final report

The Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model (FASOM), developed by Professor Bruce McCarl of Texas A&M University and others, is a dynamic nonlinear programming model of the U.S. forest and agricultural sectors. The model solves a constrained dynamic optimization problem that maximizes the net present value of the sum of producer and consumer surplus across the two sectors over time. The model is constrained such that total production is equal to total consumption, technical input/output relationships hold, and total land use must remain constant. FASOM simulates the allocation of land over time to competing activities in both the forest and agricultural sectors and the associated impacts on commodity markets. In addition, the model simulates environmental impacts resulting from changing land allocation and production practices, including accounting for changes in net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for particular agricultural activities. The model was developed to evaluate the welfare and market impacts of policies that influence land allocation and alter production activities within these sectors. FASOM has been used in numerous studies to examine issues including GHG mitigation policy, potential impacts of climate change, timber harvest policy on public lands, federal farm programs, bioenergy production, and a variety of other policies affecting the forest and agricultural sectors.


Beach, R., & McCarl, BA. (2010). U.S. agricultural and forestry impacts of the Energy Independence and Security Act: FASOM results and model description. Final report. (Prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Transportation and Air Quality. RTI Project Number 0210826.003). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International.