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Agricultural Research Funding in the Public and Private Sectors

Definitions and Related Resources

The detailed definition of agricultural R&D can be found in the Current Research Information Systems Manual of Classification for Agricultural and Forestry Research, Education, and Extension. Essentially, public agricultural R&D focuses on the plants and animals used in agricultural production; the natural resources that are used or affected by agriculture production; production systems and their support; food and non-food products; human nutrition, well-being, and food safety; families and community systems; economics, marketing and policy; and research administration. Private R&D includes many of the same research topics, specifically plant breeding, agricultural chemicals, farm machinery, fertilizers, animal health, animal breeding, animal nutrition, and food and kindred products. The National Science Foundation data are defined by agency, in this case, USDA's research agencies. Both NSF and CRIS exclude outlays on "R&D plant," or expenditures on long-lived capital assets.

Agricultural Research Deflator: A price index that accounts for inflation in the cost of research inputs. The costs of conducting research have risen faster than the general rate of inflation.

Private Sector Agricultural R&D Funding: Agricultural R&D funding of non-public institutions, generally private firms. (Private funding of research at public institutions is included under public sector R&D).

Public Sector Agricultural R&D Funding: Agricultural R&D funding that flows through or to a public institution, whether at the federal or State level.

Related Resources

See also the topic on Agricultural Science Policy for more information on ERS research in this area.

Last updated: Friday, April 10, 2015

For more information contact: Kelly Day-Rubenstein and Paul Heisey