Image: Farm Economy

Agricultural Productivity

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It is widely agreed that increased productivity, arising from innovation and changes in technology, is the main contributor to economic growth in U.S. agriculture. ERS data, research, and analyses quantify productivity improvements, the sources of improvement, and investigate the role of the public and private sectors in fostering U.S. agricultural productivity growth through research, education, infrastructure, and technological advances. Research on global agricultural productivity focuses on quantifying comparable productivity growth measures for countries and regions worldwide.

  • ERS' productivity accounts provide estimates of productivity growth for the aggregate U.S. farm sector for the period 1948-2011, and estimates of the growth and relative levels of productivity for the individual States for the period 1960-2004. According to the statistics (see the ERS data product, Agricultural Productivity in the U.S.), growth in farm sector output was due almost entirely to productivity growth over the post-war period.

Last updated: Friday, December 06, 2013

For more information contact: Eldon Ball, Sun Ling Wang, and Keith Fuglie

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