Session One: Input Measurement in Productivity Analysis
Date & Time
Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 9:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Keith Fuglie Brent Hueth GianCarlo Moschini Rachel Soloveichik Richard Perrin Richard Nehring Jon Samuels Timothy Njagi

Moderated by Brent Hueth, USDA Economic Research Service

Input Measurement in Agricultural Productivity: the Case of Seed Use in the United States (Paper 1)

Presentation by Richard Nehring, USDA Economic Research Service

Authors: Richard Nehring, Sam Bailey, Daniel Bonin and Laura Dodson, USDA Economic Research Service

Modern agricultural biotechnology has facilitated the development of biological innovations embodied in new seeds, contributing to sustained agricultural productivity growth and helping ensure an abundance of food and fiber (Fernandez-Cornejo, The Seed Industry in U.S. Agriculture, AIB 786, 2004). Genetically engineered (GE) varieties with pest management traits became commercially available for major crops (corn, soybeans, and cotton) in 1996. My presentation today outlines preliminary empirical results on the estimation of the pricing of seed traits for corn, cotton, and soybeans for 1948 to the present, breaking out the estimation process into three major changes in seed use. More precisely ERS has developed a revised seed input file for the national and state-level productivity accounts that incorporates quality-adjusted price and quantity indices for 1948 to 1970, 1971 to 1995, and 1996 to the present. The first period covers the introduction of hybrid corn into all major corn producing regions. The second period covers the introduction of three-way crosses in corn production. And, the third period covers the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into not only corn production, but cotton and soybeans as well, now accounting for more than 90 percent of acres planted in all three crops.

Understanding Productivity Gaps in Kenya and East Africa (Paper 2)

Presentation by Timothy Njagi, Tegemeo Institute

The Global Agricultural Report shows that productivity gaps have been declining in East Africa despite critical investments by government and development partners. I will explain the trends in agricultural productivity, decomposing the drivers and sources of growth, use the Kenya cereal sector as a case study to explain the observed trends. The presentation shall draw lessons on what has worked, existing challenges, and opportunities for improving agricultural productivity.

Measuring Biological Capital Assets (Paper 3)

Presentation by Richard Perrin, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Authors: Richard Perrin, Adauto Rocha and Lilyan Fulginiti

Although international accounting conventions call for countries to include accounts for farm biological capital (cows, orchards, etc) in their income, wealth and productivity accounts, the U.S. and most other countries do not do so. This is due to two important reasons: investment is not easy to track because the capital assets are produced within the farm sector itself; and the age-productivity profiles of these capital assets do not match the monotonically-decreasing profile implied by the perpetual inventory method employed to account for other capital assets. Both ERS and BEA have explored potential accounts for biological capital, resulting in an ERS cooperative agreement with the University of Nebraska to develop a complete set of biological capital accounts for possible inclusion in the official ERS accounts. In this paper we present our basic approach and describe capital accounts created for two disparate categories: dairy cows and oranges.

Valuing Irrigation Water in World Agriculture (Paper 4)

Presentation by Keith Fuglie, USDA Economic Research Service

The use of water for irrigation is an important environmental resource in agricultural production. However, for most countries, information on the quantities and especially values of irrigation water is incomplete. This work uses differences in land rental rates between irrigated and unirrigated cropland to derive estimates of the shadow value of water by country. Drawing on data from FAO and OECD, estimates of irrigated water volume and area constructed by country over 1987-2017. Estimates of the shadow value of water for irrigation is then estimated using productivity differences between irrigated and dryland agriculture. Growth in agricultural TFP has in many cases raised the value of water used for irrigation. By 2017, the world-wide shadow value of irrigation water was about $140 billion per year, or $48 per cubic meter, with large differences by country.

Discussant for Papers 1-2: GianCarlo Moschini, Iowa State University

Discussant for Paper 3: Rachel Soloveichik, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Discussant for Paper 4: Jon Samuels, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Location Name
Ballston Room
Full Address
Virginia Tech Executive Briefing Center
900 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22203
United States
Session Type
General Session
Virtual Session Link