In this AEI Events Podcast, agriculture experts Vince Smith and Philip Pardey discuss their new report on the benefit from research and development (R&D) funding in the US Farm Bill. Farm bill dollars dedicated to food and agricultural R&D expand the overall size of the agricultural pie to benefit not only innovative farmers and agribusinesses but also taxpaying consumers who foot the bill. The authors explain how productivity growth induced by publicly funded R&D investments lowers costs of production and the price of food. They concluded by arguing that the economically sensible strategy is to cut back on wasteful farm bill spending and instead significantly increase funding for public investments in agricultural R&D.

The share of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) spending directed to food and agricultural research and development (R&D) has fallen dramatically to less than 3 percent of the agency’s total budget in fiscal year 2017. As a consequence of these shifts in USDA spending priorities, the US has lost significant global R&D ground with large agricultural economies.

Watch the full event video here. This event took place on December 11, 2017.

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Published in: Domestic Policy, Economics