Farmers are being affected by profound changes in the demand for agricultural products, rising costs of production, rapid advances in agricultural production technology, and uncertain government policies. These and other issues facing farmers are often complex and management strategies and practices must keep pace. Crop and livestock producers who keep up with these advances will be more likely survive and prosper in the future. Understanding the economics and risks surrounding new and emerging technologies will help producers make better management decisions for improving the bottom lines of their farm businesses.
The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics is uniquely positioned to teach prospective producers, consultants, and government employees how to make sound economic decisions, and to provide them with practical economic evaluation of new and emerging agricultural production technologies and technology-appropriate management practices through research and Extension efforts.
Department Personnel Working in Production Economics and Farm Management:
Christopher Boyer, Assistant Professor, Farm Management, Production Economics, and Natural Resource Economics
Burton English - Professor and Research Coordinator (Research and Teaching)
Delton Gerloff - Professor and Interim Department Head (Extension); Programs in farm and financial management and crops marketing
James Larson - Associate Professor (Research and Teaching); Farm management, risk management, and production economics
Jamey Menard - Research Associate (Research); Impact analysis and production economics
Margarita Velandia - Assistant Professor (Research and Extension); Farm management and production economics, and programs in organic agriculture and tobacco management
The Department teaches several courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels that deal with economic decision making at the firm level. A list of courses is given below and course descriptions can be found in the Courses of Instruction sections of the latest Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs.
- AREC 342 - Farm Business Management
- AREC 412 - Agricultural Finance
- AREC 442 - Agribusiness Management
- AREC 444 - Economics of Precision Farming Technologies
Farm management and production economists in the Department have conducted research dealing with precision farming, biotechnology, conservation tillage, biofuels, new crop and livestock products, and new management practices for crop and livestock production.
Selected Research Projects
- Hatch Project TN00348, “Economic Analysis of Agricultural Production Systems in Tennessee”
- Congressional Earmark, “UT Switchgrass Project”
- Cotton Incorporated Projects
– Regional Precision Farming Project: Cotton Incorporated Project 07-131, “Economics of Precision Farming Working Group—Tennessee”
– Tennessee Precision Farming Project: Cotton Incorporated Project 07-132, “Current State and Future Adoption of Precision Farming Technologies by Cotton Farmers in Tennessee”
– Regional Tillage Project: Cotton Incorporated Project 07-121, “Current Economic Status of Conservation and No-Till Cotton Production in the Southeastern United States Working Group—Tennessee”
Recent Publications include:
- When Does Variable Rate Technology for Agricultural Sprayers Pay? A Case Study for Cotton Production in Tennessee
Mooney, D. F., J. A. Larson, R. K. Roberts, and B. C. English
Journal of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers 72(2009):177-187
- Switchgrass Production in Marginal Environments: A Comparative Economic Analysis Across Four West Tennessee Landscapes
Mooney, D.F., R.K. Roberts, B.C. English, D.D. Tyler, and J.A. Larson.
Selected Paper presented at the American Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, July 27-29, 2008.
- Adoption and Abandonment of Precision Soil Sampling in Cotton Production
Walton, J.C., R.K. Roberts, D.M. Lambert, J.A. Larson, B.C. English, S.L. Larkin, S.W. Martin, M.C. Marra, K.W. Paxton, and J.M. Reeves.
Selected Paper presented at the American Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, July 27-29, 2008
- Herbicide-Resistant Technology Price Effects on the Plant Density Decision for Ultra-Narrow-Row Cotton
Larson, J.A, R.K. Roberts, and C.O. Gwathmey.
Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 32(2007):383-401
- Simultaneous Adoption of Herbicide-Resistant and Conservation-Tillage Cotton Technologies.
Roberts, R.K., B.C. English, Q. Gao, and J.A. Larson
Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 38(2006):629-643. Also presented as a Selected Paper at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, February 5-8, 2006
More publications are listed on our Production Publications and Management Publications page, Production Economics Analysis Group, Bio-based Energy Analysis Group, and Agri-Industry Modeling & Analysis Group.
Extension offers financial planning, marketing and stress management help through The MANAGE Program. MANAGE was specifically to help Tennessee farm families carefully evaluate their individual situation and assist them in improving their quality of life. Over 15, 000 Tennessee farm families have participated in the program.
Ten area Farm Management Specialists provide farm and financial support to Tennesseans across the entire state.
Extension specialist in the department publish short term planning budgets each year.