Research

My research focuses on the economics of crop production, emphasizing pest management and risk management for commodity crops, and specialty crop economics. My published work examines insect and weed management, management of pest resistance, estimation of yield loss functions from pest damage, and economic benefits of pest control at the farm and societal levels. More specifically, my work has focused on corn and soybean, the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) and corn rootworm (Diabrotica spp.), Bt corn and herbicide tolerant crops, the herbicides glyphosate and atrazine, with new projects examining the broader economics of crop biotechnology and the economics of neonicotinoid insecticides. My work concerning risk management has focused on crop insurance and federal commodity programs to manage farm income risk, as well as farmer attitudes and beliefs regarding climate change and their likely responses. My recent research on economic issues in specialty crop production has included developing new sustainability metrics for grower groups to document their current sustainability status and plan for improvements, a new method to estimate how plant spacing and tillage affect the size distribution of harvested potato tubers, examining quality of life and profitability tradeoffs faced by small organic vegetable growers and the impacts of market channel choices. My current projects include further improving sustainability metrics, use of cover crop use by small organic vegetable growers, economic analysis of the benefits of methods to address citrus greening (Huanglongbing disease), and improving conventional potato breeding to reduce acrylamide. I am actively involved with the National Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture (NISA) and a member of the Advisory Committee for Monsanto’s Corn Rootworm Knowledge Research Program.

I maintain an active outreach program as an Extension state specialist in cropping systems and environmental management that focuses on bringing science and programmatic information to Wisconsin’s agricultural professionals. His teaching includes Farming Systems Management (AAE 320) for undergraduates and Economics of Managing Agricultural Production Systems (AAE 575) for graduate students.

Special Focus: Production Economics, Risk Management, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Resistance Management, Sustainability

Curriculum Vitae: Long CV,  Short CV

Recent Research

Assessing Sustainability and Improvements in U.S. Midwestern Soybean Production Systems Using a PCA-DEA Approach Renewable Agriculture and Food SystemsArticle

Value of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments to US Soybean Farmers Pest Management ScienceArticle

Recent Bid Data and Machine Learning Work

1) Human Behavior and Prediction versus Causation with Big Data (Presentation)

2) Return on Investment: What will Make Remote Sensing Profitable for Potato Growers? (Presentation)

3) Big Data: Big Possibilities for the Cranberry Industry (Colquhoun) (Presentation)

4) Using Big Data and Machine Learning to Optimize Cranberry Production (Colquhoun) (Presentation)

5) High-Throughput Sensing for Potato Production and Breeding (Endelman) (Grant Narrative)

Research Presentations

1) Biotechnology, Neonicotinoids and Organic Agriculture: An Economist’s Perspective on Current Debates (Presentation) (UW Plant Sciences Symposium Oct 3, 2014)

2) The Freakonomics of Plant Protection Short Version (APS/IPPC Aug 7, 2011)  | Long Version (UW Plant Pathology Sep 20, 2011)

Supplemental Research Materials for Publications

1) Areawide Suppression of European Corn Borer with Bt Maize Reaps Savings to Non-Bt Maize Growers (Science Oct. 8, 2010) | ArticleSupplemental Online MaterialEconomic Analysis Spreadsheet

2) Soybean Sustinabilty Self-Assessment (Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems doi:10.1017/S1742170515000460 2015) | Condensed Survey for Printing

3) Black Swans, Dragons and the Phoenix: Rebuilding Citrus after HLB (Presentation at 5th International Conference on Huanglongbin) | PowerPoint | YouTube Video | Journal of Citrus Pathology Summary

4) Prescribed Fire Liability Insurance: Actuarial Analysis of Data | Final ReportVirginia Addendum | Mail Survey DataTelephone SurveyActuarial Analyzer