The structure of U.S. agricultural production changed dramatically during the 20th Century. Major technological innovations transformed the relationship between agricultural inputs and outputs, and contributed to rapid increases in agricultural productivity. However, evidence is mounting that suggests we have entered a new era, with substantially lower rates of productivity growth. In this article, we examine trends and spatial patterns in agricultural input use, production of outputs, and productivity. We focus on productivity growth over the period 1949–2002, and find a statistically significant slowdown in productivity growth after 1990.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jsjames/15/