aweersin's picture

Alfons Weersink

Phone: ext. 52766
Office: Room 222


Agri-environmental Policy; Farm Structure; Production Economics;


Alfons Weersink was raised on a cash crop/dairy farm near St. Mary's, Ontario. He is married to Maureen and they have 4 kids, Erin, Kristen, Marc and Bryan.

Alfons' research focuses on the effect of technology and government policy on the decisions made by farmers and the resulting effect on agri-food markets and structure.



Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Honours), University of Guelph , 1982.
Master of Science in Applied Economics, Montana State University , 1984.
Doctorate Cornell University , January 1989


Present research projects can be categorized into three main areas a) Evaluating the economic, environmental and land-use impacts of green policies on the agri-food sector (; This project started by examining whether local bioproduct efforts by provincial governments would benefit Ontario crop farmers experiencing low output prices. The rapid swings in crop prices stemming from global macroeconomic changes including biofuel policies has partially shifted the focus of the research, particularly at the extension level, to explaining the reasons for these dramatic changes and their implications for the agricultural sector. There are a number of individual sub-projects ranging from specific farm-level evaluations of green technology (i.e. farm-based anaerobic digesters) to global market assessments of biofuel policies. b) Examining the policy implications of a changing agricultural sector (; This project examines how the structural changes in agriculture affect the objectives and the efficacy of policies designed to improve efficiency and/or equity. The farm sector has evolved from a homogeneous group with relatively few differences in size, management and composition to one with significant differences even within a given commodity sector. The farmer, the farm, and the farm family used to be one-in-the-same but now many farmers may operate one farm and one farmer may operate many farms. Consequently, policies designed to improve competitiveness may target a different group of farmers and/or farms than policies targeted to alleviate equity concerns. In addition to changes within farmers, are changes within farmland owners and these changes have implications for the transfer efficiency of government support programs. c) Assessing the effectiveness of environmental policies within the agricultural sector. This has been my main area of research over the last decade. One part involves assessing the profitability of farming systems and the reasons for their use by farmers. A second component assesses the tradeoffs between environmental quality and farm profitability between farming systems. This work involves calibrating a biophysical simulation model to predict residual levels and combining it with a farm optimization model. The final part examines the effectiveness of policies to achieve environmental quality goals.

Teaching Interests:

FARE*3030 The Firm and Markets FARE*4240 Futures and Options FARE*4500 Decision Science

Select Publications:

Anderson, R. & Weersink, A. (2014). A Real Options Approach for the Investment Decisions of a Farm-Based Anaerobic Digester. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 62 (1), 69-87.
DeLaporte, A., Weersink, A., & McKenney, D. (2014). A Spatial Model of Climate Change Effects on Yields and Break-even Prices of Switchgrass and Miscanthus in Ontario, Canada. GCB Bioenergy, 6 (4), 394-400.
Levy, M., Dewey, C.E., Weersink, A., Poljak, Z., & Mutua, F.K. (2014). Comparing the Operations and Challenges of Pig Butchers in Rural and Peri-urban Settings of Western Kenya. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 9 (1), 125-136.
Weersink, A., McKenney, D., Allen, D., Yemshanov, D., & Boyland, M. (2014). Enhancing the Adoption of Short Rotation Woody Crops for Bioenergy Production. Biomass and Bioenergy, 64, 363-366.
Levy, M., Dewey, C.E., Weersink, A., Mutua, F.K., Carter, N., & Z. Poljak (2014). Evaluating Critical Factors to the Economic Feasibility of Semi-Intensive Pig Rearing in Western Kenya. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 46 (5), 797-808.
Uzea, N., Poon, K., Sparling, D., & Weersink, A. (in press, 2014). Farm Support Payments and Risk Balancing: Implications for Financial Riskiness of Canadian Farms. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 62.
Poon, K. & Weersink, A. (2014). Growing Forward with Agricultural Policy: Strengths and Weaknesses of Canada's Agricultural Data Sets. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 62 (2), 191-218.
Anderson, R., Hilborn, D., & Weersink, A. (2013). An Economic and Functional Tool for Assessing the Financial Feasibility of Farm-Based Anaerobic Digesters. Renewable Energy, 51, 85-92.
Kludze, H., Deen, B., Weersink, A., van Acker, R., Janovic, K., A. DeLaporte, I.McDonald (2013). Estimating Sustainable Crop Residue Removal Rates and Costs Based on Soil Organic Matter Dynamics and Rotational Complexity . Biomass and Bioenergy, 56, 607-618.
Weersink, A., Kludze, H., Deen, B., van Acker, R., Janovic, K., A. DeLaporte, and I. McDonald (2013). Impact of Land Classification on Potential Agricultural Biomass Production in Ontario, Canada. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 93 (2), 249-260.
Levy, M., Dewey, C.E., Weersink, A., Poljak, Z., & Mutua, F.K. (in press, 2013). Pig marketing and factors associated with prices and margins in Western Kenya. Journal of Agricultural Economics and Development, 2 (10), 371-383.

Skinner, S., A. Weersink, and C. deLange. 2012. "Impact of Dried Distillers Grains with Soluble (DDGS) on Ration and Fertilizer Costs of Swine Farmers." Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. 60(2): . Huang, J., J. Yang, S. Msangi, S. Rozelle, and A. Weersink. 2012. "Biofuels and the Poor: Global Impact Pathways of Biofuels on Agricultural Markets." Food Policy. 37(4): 439-451. Huang, J., J. Yang, S. Msangi, S. Rozelle, and A. Weersink. 2012. “Global Biofuel Production and Poverty in China.” Applied Energy. 98(October): 246–255. Daly, Z., A. Melhim, and A. Weersink. 2012. “Characteristics of Honey Bee and Non-Apis Bee Farms in Canada.” Journal of Economic Entomology. 105 (4): 1130-1133. Poon, K., and A. Weersink. 2011. “Factors Affecting Variability in Farm and Off-farm Income.” Agricultural Finance Review. 71(3): 379-397. Cabas, J., and A. Weersink, and E. Olale. 2010. “Crop Yield Response to Economic, Site and Climatic Variables.” Climatic Change. 101(3): 599-616. DeLaporte, A., A. Weersink and W. Yang. 2010. “Ecological Goals and Wetland Preservation Choice.” Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. 58(1):131-150. Dridi, C., W. Adamowicz, and A. Weersink. 2010. “Ranking of Research Output of Agricultural Economics Departments in Canada and Selected U.S. Universities.” Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. 58(3):273-282. Meyer-Aurich, A., A. Weersink and M. Gandhoefer. 2010. “Optimal Site-Specific Fertilization and Harvesting Strategies with Respect to Crop Yield and Quality Response to Nitrogen.” Agricultural Systems. 103(7):478-485. Weersink, A., E. Olale and J. Cabas. 2010. “Acreage Response to Weather, Yield and Price..” Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. 58(1):57-72. Alesia, A., A Weersink, R.D. Bolman and J. Cranfield. 2009. "Off-farm Labour Decisions of Canadian Farm Operators: Urbanization Effects and Rural Labour Market Linkages.” Journal of Rural Studies. 25(1): 12-24. Herath, Deepananda, and Alfons Weersink. 2009. “The Role of Transaction, Production, and Management Costs in the Vertical Coordination Changes of Post-Colonial Plantation Agriculture.” World Development. 37(11):1759-1772. Rajsic, P., A. Weersink and M. Gandhofer. 2009. “Risk and Nitrogen Application Levels.” Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. 57(2): 223-240. To, J., A. Weersink, R. DeLoe. 2009. “Distributional Impacts of Water Allocation Policies for an Agricultural Watershed.” Canadian Water Resources Journal. 34(3):229-244. Cabas, J., A. Leiva and A. Weersink. 2008. “Modeling Exit and Entry of Farmers in a Crop Insurance Program” Agricultural and Resource Economics Reviews. 37(1):92-105.

Herath, Deepananda, and Alfons Weersink. 2008. “The Role of Transaction, Production, and Management Costs in the Vertical Coordination Changes of Post-Colonial Plantation Agriculture” World Development. forthcoming.

Jatoe, John, Emmanuel Yiridoe, Alfons Weersink, and J. Stephen Clark. 2008. “Economic and Environmental Impacts of Introducing Land Use Policies and Rotations on Prince Edward Island Potato Farms.” Land Use Policy. 25:309-319.

Pannell, D., G. Hailu, A. Weersink and A. Coad. 2008. “More Reasons Why Farmers Have So Little Interest in Futures Markets.” Agricultural Economics. 39(1):41-50.

Rajsic, P., and A. Weersink. 2008. “Do Farmers Waste Fertilizer?: A Comparison of Ex Post Optimal Nitrogen Rates and Ex Ante Recommended Rates by Model, Site and Year.” Agricultural Systems. 97(1-2):56-67

Rajsic, P., and A. Weersink. 2008. “Risk and Nitrogen Application Levels.” Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. forthcoming.

Tiwari, A., J.A. VanLeeuwen, I.R. Dohoo, G.P. Keefe, and A. Weersink. 2008. “Estimate of the Direct Production Losses in Canadian Dairy Herds with Subclinical Mycobacterium Avium Subspecies Paratuberculosis Infection.” The Canadian Veterinary Journal. 49(6):569-76.

Banjaree, Anurag. Johan Swinnen, and Alfons Weersink. 2007. “Skating on Thin Ice: Rule Changes and Performance in the NHL” Canadian Journal of Economics 40(2): 493-514.

Herath, Deepananda, and Alfons Weersink. 2007. “Peasants and Plantations in the Sri Lankan Tea Sector: Causes of the Change in their Relative Viability.” Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. 51(1): 73-89.

Jayasinghe-Mudalige, Udith, Alfons Weersink, Brady Deaton, and Mike Trant. 2007. “Effect of Urbanization on the Adoption of Environmental Management Systems in Canadian Agriculture.” International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology. 6(3):316-325.

Weersink, Alfons and Mark Raymond. 2007. “Environmental Regulations Impact on Agricultural Spills and Citizen Complaints.” Ecological Economics. 60(3): 654-660.

Young, Linda, Alfons Weersink, Murray Fulton, and Brady Deaton, 2007. “Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture: EU and US Perspectives.” EuroChoices. 6(1): 32-37, 04.

Esuola, Adeyemi G. and Alfons Weersink. 2006. “Carbon Banks: An Efficient Means to Address to Exchange Sequestered Carbon.” Journal of Environmental Quality. 35(4):1525-1532.

Meyer-Aurich, A., K. Janovicek, W. Deen, and A. Weersink. 2006. “Impact of Tillage and Rotation on Yield and Economic Performance in Corn-Based Cropping Systems” Agronomy Journal. 98(5):1204-1212.

Meyer-Aurich, A., A. Weersink, K. Janovicek, and W. Deen. 2006. “Cost-Efficient Rotation and Tillage Options to Sequester Carbon and Mitigate GHG Emissions from Agriculture in Eastern Canada.” Agriculture, Ecosystems and the Environment 117 (2-3):119-127

Turvey, Calum G., Alfons Weersink and Celia Chang. 2006. “Pricing Weather Insurance with a Random Strike Price: An Application to the Ontario Ice Wine Harvest.” American Jounral ofAgricultural Economics. 88(3):696-709.

Weersink, Alfons and Christine Eveland. 2006. “The Siting of Livestock Facilities and Environmental Regulations” Canadian Journal ofAgricultural Economics. 54(1):159-174.

Weersink, Alfons. 2006. “Agricultural Economics in Canada: Ready to Step Up or Fall Back?” Canadian Journal ofAgricultural Economics. 54(1):1-9. (invited).

Herath, Deepananda, Alfons Weersink and Chantal Line-Carpentier. 2005. “Spatial Dynamics of the Livestock Sector in the United States: Do Environmental Regulations Matter?” Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. 30(1): 45-68.

Weersink, Alfons, R.S. Llewellyn and D.J. Pannell. 2005. Economics of Pre-emptive Management to Avoid Weed Resistance to Glyphosate in Australia”. Crop Protection. 24: 659-665.

Weersink, Alfons, and Ada Wossink. 2005. Lessons from Agri-Environmental Policies in Other Countries for Dealing with Salinity in Australia”. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture. 45(11): 1481-1494.

Weersink, Alfons, David Pannell, Murray Fulton and Andreas Meyer-Aurich. 2005. Agriculture's Likely Role in Meeting Canada's Kyoto Commitments”. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. 53(4): 425-441.