Agricultural Productivity Growth: Measurement, Drivers, and Climatic Effects

The “Agricultural Productivity Growth: Measurement, Drivers, and Climatic Effects” workshop* will take place March 29 and 30, 2023, at the Virginia Tech Executive Briefing Center in Arlington, Virginia. It is a collaboration between Farm Foundation, the USDA’s Economic Research Service, and Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

About the Workshop

Innovation through investment in public and private research & development (R&D) is the key driver of productivity growth in agriculture. However, in the short term, the increasing frequencies of adverse weather events under climate change have resulted in total factor productivity (TFP) estimates variations from year to year that can hinder our understanding of overall technology advancement. A properly measured TFP indicator can help to inform policy on the patterns of productivity growth and the results of science policy. Furthermore, it can be used to identify the linkages between TFP and climate change, environmental factors, and world trade.

Workshop Priorities and Goals

The workshop will address four key questions:

  1. How can different methodologies result in distinct productivity estimates, and does it matter?
  2. How does public R&D and patent knowledge stock affect agricultural productivity growth?
  3. How does climate change influence agricultural productivity growth and what are the consequences?
  4. What are the causes and consequences of agricultural productivity growth?

The workshop also aims to convene and develop a network of researchers who study productivity-related topics to support the ERS research agenda on identifying the causes and effects of agricultural productivity growth. Another goal for this network is to support the quality of ERS productivity data products.

In-person participation in the workshop is restricted to invite-only. The public is invited to view the event live for free via Zoom. Register to access the workshop as a virtual attendee at the link below. Contact us for more information.




Meet the Organizers

Farm Foundation leverages the power of collaboration between food and agricultural stakeholders to advance agriculture in positive ways. Our unique approach combines the trust and reliability of a “think tank” with the impact and urgency of a “do tank.”

Virginia Tech took over the responsibility for producing the Global Agricultural Productivity Report® (GAP Report®) in 2019. It was created by the Global Harvest Initiative (GHI), a non-profit founded in 2010 to look at what production agriculture would have to achieve to keep pace with a growing global population.

T­he mission of USDA’s Economic Research Service is to anticipate trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food, the environment, and rural America and to conduct high-quality, objective economic research to inform and enhance public and private decision-making.

ERS shapes its research program and products to serve those who routinely make or influence public policy and program decisions. Key clientele includes White House and USDA policy officials; the U.S. Congress; program administrators/managers; other Federal agencies; State and local government officials; and organizations, including farm and industry groups. ERS research provides context for and informs the decisions that affect the agricultural sector, which in turn benefits everyone with efficient stewardship of our agricultural resources and the economic prosperity of the sector.

About the Global Agricultural Productivity Report®

The annual Global Agricultural Productivity Report is produced by Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in collaboration with partners in the private sector, NGOs, conservation organizations, universities, and global research institutions. The 2022 report, Troublesome Trends and System Shocks, discusses how global agricultural systems are being affected by COVID-19, climate change, extreme weather events, and conflicts in Ukraine and elsewhere, driving up prices for food and agricultural inputs.


*This workshop was supported in part by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The findings and conclusions in the presentations are those of the author(s) and should not be construed to represent any official USDA or U.S. Government determination or policy.

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