For more than 10 years, the Kansas City Fed has hosted an annual agricultural symposium, bringing together academic experts, banking and business leaders, government officials and policymakers to discuss emerging trends affecting the agricultural economy.

The 2020 Agricultural Symposium was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, materials from the program will be available soon online. For email alerts about this content, sign up to receive the Bank’s Ag and the Economy e-newsletter.

This year’s symposium was positioned to explore the underlying drivers of agricultural productivity and prospects for long-term growth. Agricultural productivity has continued to increase in recent years in many regions and across numerous commodity groups despite concerns about slower productivity growth in other sectors of the global economy. Productivity gains have been crucial in meeting the needs of a growing population through the adoption of new technologies, modernized farming practices and global supply chain efficiencies.

The pandemic disrupted markets across the globe this year, including agriculture, raising additional questions about the resilience of the industry in meeting the needs of consumers.

Forthcoming papers, written for this year’s program, will provide a foundation for understanding key aspects surrounding agricultural productivity growth to help inform future discussion on a topic complicated by an unprecedented pandemic.