Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

  • Director, Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center (FREC)
  • Professor of Agricultural Economics
P.O. Box 330
290 University Drive

Biglerville, PA 17307

Areas of Expertise

  • Farm Management
  • Risk Management
  • Production Economics


  • B.A., Economics and Business, University of Northern Colorado, 1981
  • M.S., Agricultural Economics, University of Arkansas, 1983
  • Ph.D., Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, 1988


Extension and Research Interests

My extension and research interests are in the area of risk management and crop production economics. Work on horticultural crops has included crop insurance, invasive species, economic evaluation of plum pox virus, high tunnel production systems, alternative apple and peach production systems, irrigation, mechanical harvesters, hydroponic vegetable production, fruit quality, alternative vegetable production systems, and tree fruit IPM. Work on agronomic crops has included evaluation of crop insurance options, organic production systems, crop rotations, herbicide selection criteria, conservation tillage systems, machinery sizing and replacement, and crop harvest and storage systems.  I am also responsible for maintaining cost of production estimates for various crop and livestock enterprises; they are published in three production guides and the numerous publications of the Agricultural Alternatives series.  

Recent Journal Articles

Kaufman, Z., D. Abler, J. Shortle, J. Harper, J. Hamlett, and P. Feather.  “Agricultural Costs of the Chesapeake Bay TDML." Environmental Science and Technology 48(2014): 14131-14138.

Harper, J.K., A.J. Jimenez-Maldonado, R.M. Crassweller, and D.E. Smith. “Impact of Producer Risk Preferences on Selection of Fresh-Market Apple Training Systems." International J. Fruit Sci. 13(2013): 265-273.

Bates, R.T., R.S. Gallagher, W.S. Curran, and J.K. Harper.  “Integrating Mechanical and Reduced Chemical Weed Control in Conservation Tillage Corn." Agronomy J. 104(2012): 507-517.

Gardner, J., M.P. Hoffmann, S.A. Pitcher, and J.K. Harper.  “Integrating Insecticides and Trichogramma Ostriniae to Control European Corn Borer in Sweet Corn: Economic Analysis."  Biological Control.  56 (2011): 9-16.

Agnello, A.M., A. Atanassov, J.C. Bergh, D.M. Biddinger, L.J. Gut, M.J. Haas, J.K. Harper, H.W. Hogmire, L.A. Hull, L.F. Kime, G. Krawczyk, P.S. McGhee, J.P. Nyrop, W.H. Reissig, P.W. Shearer, R.W. Straub, R.T. Villanueva, and J.F. Walgenbach.  “Reduced-Risk Pest Management Programs for Eastern U.S. Apple and Peach Orchards: A 4-Year Regional Project."  American Entomologist. 55,3(2009): 190-203.

Stokes, J.S. and J.K. Harper.  “An Excel-based Decision Aid for Evaluating Financing Alternatives and the Marginal Cost of Capital".  Agricultural Finance Review.  68(2008):339-348.


Group Award for Excellence, USDA (2001)

Vice President's Award for Innovation, Penn State University Outreach (2002)

Certificate of Appreciation, USDA, CSREES (2002)

Group Award for Excellence, USDA (2002)

Certificate of Appreciation, USDA, Small Farms Program (2002)

Certificate of Appreciation, Industrial College of the Armed Forces (2004)

Certificate of Appreciation, USDA, Small Farms Program (2012)


Australia, 1997.  Six-month sabbatical at the Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Pest Management, University of Queensland (Brisbane).

New Zealand, 2005.  Eleven month sabbatical at Massey University (Palmerston North).  Developed an orchard replacement model for Pipfruit New Zealand, Ltd. (grower funded project).

New York, 2013.  Three month sabbatical in the Department of Entomology, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, Geneva NY.  Developed an insecticide selection tool for apple growers.

Puerto Rico, 2014.  Three month sabbatical in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, PR.

Current and former graduate students

Served as major professor for 2 M.S. students and 1 Ph.D. student in agricultural economics

Served on graduate committees for 3 M.S. students in Agricultural Economics, 5 M.S. students in Agronomy, 2 M.S. students in horticulture, and 2 Ph.D students in Crop & Soil Sciences

Collaborated with 13 other graduate students on various research and extension projects