Papers that would have been presented at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual Agricultural Symposium have been published to help inform future discussions. The 2020 forum, titled “The Roots of Agricultural Productivity Growth,” was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The topic of productivity growth, and the papers written in anticipation of the symposium, remain relevant in the agricultural sphere. The following papers and a foreword by President Esther L. George can be viewed on the Agricultural Symposium web page.

The drivers of U.S. agricultural productivity growth

For many years, investments in research and development have supported gains in agricultural productivity. These investments, which have slowed in more recent years, will be key determinants to future increases in productivity and technological innovation.

—Philip G. Pardey and Julian M. Alston

Interacting with the next wave of farm operators: Digital agriculture and potential financial implications

The adoption and use of technology present the agricultural sector an opportunity to improve productivity in the future.

—Terry W. Griffin, LaVona S. Traywick and Elizabeth A. Yeager

An empirical investigation of productivity spillovers along the agricultural supply chain

Changes to productivity on the farm could have implications for productivity in other segments of the economy.

—Sergio H. Lence and Alejandro Plastina

Environmental drivers of agricultural productivity growth and socioeconomic spillovers

Environmental factors are important contributors to the future outlook for agricultural productivity.  Factors that are likely to be especially important over the long-term include extreme heat and ozone pollution.

—Wolfram Schlenker