Definitions and Related Resources
Note: Updates to this data product are discontinued.
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.
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.
- 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.
- U.S. Public Agricultural Research: Changes in Funding Sources and Shifts in Emphasis, 1980-2005 (EIB-45, March 2009) focuses on the way public agricultural research is funded in the United States and how changes in funding sources over the last 25 years reflect changes in the type of research pursued.
- Research Investments and Market Structure in the Food Processing, Agricultural Input, and Biofuel Industries Worldwide (ERR-130, December 2011) describes trends in private agricultural research in the U.S. and globally, disaggregated across various agricultural input industries and the food industry.
- Various uses of R&D data and interpretation of trends are described in Agricultural Research and Development: Public and Private Investments Under Alternative Markets and Institutions (AER-735, May 1996).