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 The University of Tennessee | Institute of Agriculture

Bio-Based Energy Analysis Group

Roland Roberts

Roland Roberts emphasizes multidisciplinary research to assist farmers in making economically sound decisions about the adoption of new and emerging technologies related to bioenergy crops, precision farming, genetically modified crops, tillage, cover crops, fertilizer, mastitis in dairy herds and many others. He evaluated the effects of government policies on crop and livestock industries, value of non-market resources, demand for fertilizers, external costs of waste management systems, substitution of soybean oil for petroleum oil in fruit production and the value of urban forests and green open space. He developed national and state econometric models for use in evaluating the impacts of increased energy prices and various government policies on the U.S. and Hawaii beef industries. He analyzed the impacts of oil shale development on Utah’s housing industry. He has taught graduate courses in agricultural production economics, international development, statistical quantitative methods, mathematical programming, microeconomic theory and research methodology, and undergraduate courses in international development, trade and farm management.

Current Position:
Professor, Agricultural & Resource Economics, University of Tennessee

Ph.D. Agricultural Economics, Iowa State University, 1979
M.S.  Agricultural Economics, Utah State University, 1976
B.S.  Economics, Utah State University, 1975

Professional Experience:
Professor, Dept. of Ag. & Res. Econ., University of Tennessee, 1990-Present.
Agricultural Policy Analyst and Program Manager, USAID-Indonesia, 1991-1993. 
Associate Professor, Dept. of Ag. Econ. & Rur. Soc., University of Tennessee, 1984-1991.
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Ag. & Res. Econ., University of Hawaii, 1980-1984. 
Staff Economist and Instructor, CARD and Dept. of Econ., Iowa State University, 1979-1980. 
Research Associate, CARD, Iowa State University, 1975-1979.
Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Econ., Utah State University, 1974-1975.

Awards and Other Professional Activities:
USAID Administrator's Implementation Award, Economic Policy Support Office, USAID/Indonesia, 1991; University of Tennessee Faculty Senate, 2000-2003; Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture; Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society; Blue Key National Honor Fraternity; Phi Etta Sigma National Honor Society.

  • Selected Publications:
    Chadourne, M.H., S. Cho, and R.K. Roberts. 2012. Identifying Priority Areas for Forest Landscape Restoration to Protect Ridgelines and Hillsides: A Cost-Benefit Analysis. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics 60(2):275-294.
  • Jensen, K. L., R. K. Roberts, E. F. Bazen, R. J. Menard, and B. C. English. 2010. Farmer Willingness to Supply Poultry Litter for Energy Conversion and to Invest in an Energy Conversion Cooperative. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 42(1):105-119.
  • 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. 2010. “Grid Soil Sampling Adoption and Abandonment in Cotton Production. Precision Agriculture 11(2):135-147.
  • Mooney, D.F., R. K. Roberts, B. C. English, D. D. Tyler, and J. A. Larson. 2009. Yield and Breakeven Price of 'Alamo' Switchgrass for Biofuels in Tennessee. Agronomy Journal 101(5):1234-1242.
  • Torbett, J.C., R.K. Roberts, J.A. Larson, and B.C. English. 2008. Perceived Importance of Nitrogen Fertilizer Efficiency from Cotton Precision Farming. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 64:140-148.
  • Larson, J.A., R.K. Roberts, B.C. English, S.L. Larkin, M.C. Marra, S.W. Martin, K.W. Paxton, and J.M. Reeves. 2008. Farmer Adoption of Remotely Sensed Imagery for Precision Management in Cotton Production. Precision Agriculture 9:195-208.
  • Epplin, F.M., C.D. Clark, R.K. Roberts, and S. Hwang. 2007. Challenges to the Development of a Dedicated Energy Crop. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 89:1296-1302.
  • Roberts, R.K., B.C. English, Q. Gao, and J.A. Larson. 2006. Simultaneous Adoption of Herbicide-Resistant and Conservation-Tillage Cotton Technologies. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 38:629-643.
  • Larson, J.A., R.K. Roberts, B.C. English, R.L. Cochran, and B.S. Wilson. 2005. A Computer Decision Aid for the Cotton Yield Monitor Investment Decision. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 48:216-234.
  • Roberts, R.K., B.C. English, J.A. Larson, R.L. Cochran, W.R. Goodman, S.L. Larkin, M.C. Marra, S.W. Martin, W.D. Shurley, and J.M. Reeves. 2004. Adoption of Site-Specific Information and Variable Rate Technologies in Cotton Precision Farming. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 36:143-158.
  • Roberts, R.K., J.T. Walters, J.A. Larson, B.C. English, and D.D. Howard. 2004. Optimal Nitrogen Fertilization Rates in Winter Wheat Production as Affected by Risk, Disease, and Nitrogen Source. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 36:199-211.
  • Roberts, R.K., S.B. Mahajanashetti, B.C. English, J.A. Larson, and D.D. Tyler.2002. Variable Rate Nitrogen Application on Corn Fields: The Role of Spatial Variability and Weather. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 34:111-129.
  • Roberts, R.K., B.C. English, and J.A. Larson. 2001. Factors Affecting the Location of Precision Farming Technology Adoption in Tennessee. Journal of Extension 40(2002):http://
  • English, B.C., S.B. Mahajanashetti, and R.K. Roberts. 2001. Assessing Spatial Break-even Variability in Fields with Two or More Management Zones. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 33:551-565.
  • Roberts, R.K., B.C. English, and S.B. Mahajanashetti. 2000. Evaluating the Returns to Variable Rate Nitrogen Application. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 32:133-143.
  • McKinley, T.L., R.K. Roberts, R.M. Hayes, and B.C. English. 1999. Economic Comparison of Herbicides for Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) Control in Glyphosate Tolerant Soybeans (Glycine max). Weed Technology 13:30-36.
  • Roberts, R.K., R. Pendergrass, and R.M. Hayes. 1999. Economic Analysis of Alternative Herbicide Regimes on Roundup ReadyTM Soybeans. Journal of Production Agriculture 12:449-454.
  • Roberts, R.K., P.V. Douglas, and W.M. Park.1991. Estimating External Costs of Municipal Landfill Siting Through Contingent Valuation Analysis: A Case Study. Southern Journal of Agricultural Economics 23:155-165.
  • Garrod, P.V., and R.K. Roberts. 1986. Prices as Proxies for Prices. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 68:626-633.
  • Roberts, R.K., G.R. Vieth, and J.C. Nolan, Jr. 1984. An Analysis of the Impact of Energy Price Escalations during the 1970's on Hawaii Beef Production and Prices. Western Journal of Agricultural Economics 9:90-105.

Roland Roberts

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

The University of Tennessee

308B Morgan Hall
Knoxville, TN 37996-4518
Phone: (865) 974-7482
Fax: (865) 974-7429