Definitions and Related Resources

The detailed definition of agricultural R&D can be found in the 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 nonfood 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 nonpublic institutions, generally private firms. (Private funding of research at public institutions is included under public sector R&D.)

  • Private agricultural input research: Research in seven industries, 1) crop genetic improvement; 2) crop protection chemicals; synthetic fertilizers; 4) farm machinery; 5) animal health; 6) animal genetic improvement; and 7) animal nutrition.
  • Private food research: Research in manufacturing for food and kindred products, such as beverages.

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

  • Innovation, Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability in the United States (OECD Food and Agricultural Policy Review, November 2016) places the U.S. agricultural innovation system within the larger agricultural system, outlines the policies affecting the performance of both agriculture and agricultural research, and updates information on trends in the agricultural innovation system.