Research Focus Area
The research program in the Department of Agricultural Economics aims to create practical, empirical knowledge that will increase the efficiency and productivity of Oklahoma agriculture and rural communities and the well-being of Oklahomans, while also creating and increasing knowledge in the discipline of agricultural and applied economics. Through collaborations in interdisciplinary projects, we make significant contributions to the research literature in many disciplines.
Agribusiness research focuses on ways to develop and enhance the agricultural products, value-added food, and biofuel industries in Oklahoma and the Southern Plains. Projects have included impacts of input availability, logistics, regulatory compliance, market potential for products, feasibility assessments of value-added ventures, cooperative performance enhancement, new product innovation and development, grant supported research, teaching, Extension, and experiment station projects.
Agricultural policy projects focus on state, national, and international policies that impact agricultural and rural economies. Projects cover a wide range of policy issues in areas such as farm commodities, food and nutrition, bio fuels, wind energy, conservation, rural development, water use, energy extraction, climate change, immigration reform, invasive species, and international agricultural development. Recent studies have analyzed commodity programs in the 2008 and 2012 farm bills, returning Conservation Reserve Program land to cropland, economic impact of land use changes associated with switchgrass-based ethanol production, food security among Oklahoma Native American tribes, impact of new FDA recommendations on Oklahoma food manufacturers, land use for food vs. fuel, and the impact of water policies in Oklahoma.
Food and Consumer Economics
Food and consumer economics seeks to understand what consumers want out of agriculture in terms of the quality and affordability of the food they eat, but also how food production impacts the environment, animal welfare, and natural resources. Issues in food policy, emerging food issues, consumer behavior, livestock and meat technology and marketing, farm animal welfare, agricultural controversies, acceptance of food and agricultural technologies and research methods are being analyzed.
Marketing research has addressed: feasibility and cost benefit analysis, whole chain traceability, economics of integrated pest management in grain storage and processing, global trade and economic development, price risk management, price analysis, economics of futures and option markets, generic advertising and promotion, market structure and market power in the beef cattle market, agricultural product branding, food and nutrient demand, value enhancement, and vertical linkages in livestock and agri-food industries.
Natural Resources & Environmental Economics
Natural resources and environmental economics research includes economic analysis of environmental issues, including non-market valuation, optimal land use, irrigation, animal waste management, least cost location of BMPs to meet watershed TMDLs, and institutional design. Past projects have addressed drought and cold tolerant turfgrass adoption and marketing in the Southeastern US, municipal and recreational water use and valuation, wind energy, land use, species protection, water management and hydraulic fracturing interaction, water management and changes in climate, integrating economics in the comprehensive state water plan, and socio-economic behavior and resilience under drought, and climate variability.
Production & Farm Management
Research in production economics and farm management focuses on farm and ranch profitability, including crop and livestock economics, and risk management. Research addresses value-added beef production systems, cropping systems, economics analyses of genotypic information, land values and rental rates, environmental issues, economics of horticultural and other alternative crops in Oklahoma, and evaluating the performance of new agricultural technology, and farm management practices.
Rural Development research assesses the impact on local economies of program and environmental changes. Specific topics include: broadband, entrepreneurship, public goods, health infrastructure, the effect of incentive, and investment programs.