The causes and unintended consequences of a paradigm shift in corn production practices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Independent but simultaneously occurring changes in U.S. agricultural and energy policies in conjunction with advances in biotechnology converged to create an economic and regulatory environment that incentivized corn acreage expansion. Advancements in Bt seed and ethanol production technologies contributed to scale efficiency gains in corn and biofuel production. These advancements were accompanied by changes in market forces that altered the balance between corn and other agricultural crop production. The causal linkages among Bt adoption, ethanol production, and corn production are explored along with a discussion of how this shift toward corn production generated unexpected economic and environmental consequences. Alternative policy solutions to mitigate the negative consequences and enhance the resiliency of U.S. agriculture are discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
StatePublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bt corn
  • Causal relationships
  • Crop rotation practices
  • Cropland simplification
  • Ethanol mandate
  • Freedom to Farm Act
  • Granger Causality
  • Renewable Fuel Act


  • Economics
  • Agriculture
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Energy Policy
  • Natural Resource Economics

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