Paul D. Mitchell 
Paul D. Mitchell

Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. B.A. from Iowa State University in History, M.A. in Classics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Ph.D. in Economics from Iowa State University.

My current research and outreach programs generally focus on the farm-level economics of crop production, emphasizing 1) pest management, 2) risk management and 3) specialty crop economics.  These research areas often overlap, because, for example, managing risk is an important part of managing insects, whether for commodity crops such as corn or soybeans or for specialty crops such as potatoes or sweet corn. 

In terms of research, I have been most productive in pest management, with a variety of papers examining various aspects of insect and weed management, including transgenic crops, invasive insects, management of pest resistance, and estimation of pest damage functions.  My risk management publications focused on the use of insurance and federal programs to manage farm income risk and to encourage adoption of more efficient technologies, while other work examines how insurance and information can reduce the use of crop inputs for risk management and so improve the environmental performance of crop farmers.  My outreach program in risk management includes both crop insurance and various other federal programs, including disaster assistance and commodity support programs.  My research on economic issues in specialty crop production only began recently, with publications examining changes in potato demand due to the growing importance of organic and other specialty types of potatoes and a new method to estimate how management (plant spacing, tillage) affects the size distribution of harvested potato tubers. 

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

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






  1) Solving the RIDL of Sustainable Bt Corn Use: Stepping Off the Biotechnology Treadmill (NCB-ESA Mar 14, 2011)

        Presentation        NCB-ESA Symposium Program (scroll down)

  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) Prescribed Fire Liability Insurance: Actuarial Analysis of Data

        Final Report              Virginia Addendum

        Mail Survey Data      Telephone Survey      Actuarial Analyzer



   Presentation          Match Letter Template        Match Excel Help


My Department Web Page