Kate Vaiknoras

Research Agricultural Economist


Kate Vaiknoras is a research agricultural economist in the Animal Products and Cost of Production Branch of the Market and Trade Economics Division at USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS). 


Kate joined ERS in 2020. Her research interests include adoption and impacts of agricultural technologies, such as improved seed varieties. She contributes to the ERS Commodity Costs and Returns data product and conducts research on how production practices and technologies affect production costs of U.S. crops. She has also conducted research on the U.S. meat and poultry supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of her graduate studies, she developed several agricultural household surveys to measure farm production outcomes and she conducted field work in Uganda and Nepal.


Kate received a Ph.D. in economics, agriculture and life sciences in 2019 and an M.S. in agricultural and applied economics in 2014, both from Virginia Tech. She also has a B.A. in economics from Smith College.

Selected Publications

Vaiknoras, K., & Larochelle, C. (2023). Training and seed production spillovers and technology adoption: The case of seed producer groups in Nepal. Agricultural Economics, 54(6), 921–942

Padilla, S., MacLachlan, M., Vaiknoras, K., & Schulz, L.L. (2023). Disasters, population trends, and their impact on the U.S. pork packing sector. Food Policy, 118.

Vaiknoras, K., & Hubbs, T. (2023). Characteristics and trends of U.S. soybean production practices, costs, and returns since 2002 (Report Number ERR-316). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Vaiknoras, K., Hahn, W., Padilla, S., Valcu-Lisman, A., & Grossen, G. (2022). COVID-19 Working Paper: COVID-19 and the U.S. meat and poultry supply chains, (COVID-19 Working Paper Number AP-098). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Padilla, S., Schulz, L.L., Vaiknoras, K., & MacLachlan, M. (2021). COVID-19 Working Paper: Changes in Regional Hog Slaughter During COVID-19, (COVID-19 Working Paper Number AP-095). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Vaiknoras, K., & Larochelle, C. (2021). The impact of iron-biofortified bean adoption on bean productivity, consumption, purchases, and sales. World Development, 139.

Vaiknoras, K., Larochelle, C., Birol, E., Asare-Marfo, D., & Herrington, C. (2019). Promoting rapid and sustained adoption of biofortified crops: What we learned from iron-biofortified bean delivery approaches in Rwanda. Food Policy, 83:271–84.

Vaiknoras, K., Norton, G., & Alwang, J. (2015). Farmer preferences for attributes of conservation agriculture in Uganda. African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 10(2),158–73.