Paul D. Mitchell 
Paul D. Mitchell

Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics
Extension State Specialist in Cropping Systems and Environmental Management
Co-Director of UW Extension’s Nutrient and Pest Management Program (NPM) Program
International Science and Technology Practice and Policy (InSTePP) Fellow

B.A. in History from Iowa State University
M.A. in Classics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ph.D. in Economics from Iowa State University

Paul Mitchell’s research program focuses on the economics of crop production, emphasizing pest management and risk management for commodity crops, and specialty crop economics. His 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, his 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. His 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. His 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. His 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).┬áHis 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

Office: 418 Taylor Hall 

Phone: office (608) 265-6514  cell (608) 320-1162

Fax: (608) 262-4376


Address: 427 Lorch Street, Madison, WI 53706-1503 

Curriculum Vitae: LONG  SHORT




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

        Pre-publication Accepted Version



  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)

        Article             Supplemental Online Material             Economic Analysis Spreadsheet

   2) Soybean Sustinabilty Self-Assessment

        Condensed Survey for Printing

   3) Prescribed Fire Liability Insurance: Actuarial Analysis of Data

        Final Report              Virginia Addendum

        Mail Survey Data      Telephone Survey      Actuarial Analyzer


My Department Web Page