Productivity growth is the major driver of U.S. agricultural output growth

A line chart with 3 lines shows U.S. agricultural output, inputs, and total factor productivity (TFP) over the period 1948–2021. While inputs have remained fairly constant over time, U.S. ag. output has nearly tripled, driven by improvements in TFP.

Technological developments in agriculture have been influential in driving changes in the farm sector. Innovations in animal and crop genetics, chemicals, equipment, and farm organization have enabled continuing output growth without adding much to inputs. As a result, even as the amount of land, labor, and other inputs used in farming declined, total farm output nearly tripled between 1948 and 2021.

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