My research program emphasizes the economics of crop production, emphasizing pest management and risk management for commodity crops, and specialty crop economics. My published work has examined 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. He is 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
Paul Mitchell maintains 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 (see his extension web page
). His teaching includes Farming Systems Management (AAE 320
) for undergraduates and Economics of Managing Agricultural Production Systems (AAE 575
) for graduate students.