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Agricultural Science Policy

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Agricultural Science Policy

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Note: This topic page may contain material that has not yet been updated to reflect the new Farm Act, signed into law on February 7, 2014. ERS has published highlights and some implications of the Act’s new programs and provisions. Sign up for the ERS Farm Bill e-newsletter to receive notices of topic page updates and other new Farm Bill-related materials on the ERS website.

Advances in agricultural productivity have led to abundant and affordable food and fiber throughout most of the developed world. Public and private agricultural research has been the foundation and basis for much of this growth and development. Studies have shown that public investment in agricultural research has resulted in large economic benefits with annual rates of return between 20 and 60 percent. (See Economic Returns to Public Agricultural Research, 2007.)

Technology transfer holds promise for improving incomes and welfare throughout the world. The major goals of this ERS research program are to do the following:

  • Quantify productivity improvements associated with research and development;
  • Investigate the direction and efficiency of the public and private sectors in enhancing the stock of agricultural knowledge and in developing new technologies; and
  • Assess the economic value and cost of preserving the public's access to genetic resources and genetic diversity.

Last updated: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

For more information contact: Paul Heisey

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