Productivity, Environment Focus of International Conference

John DavisAg Group, Agribusiness, USDA

farmfoundationlogo3There’s a lot of different ideas on how agriculture can be done sustainably. That’s why our friends at Farm Foundation are teaming up with Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) and USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) to hold an international conference on productivity and the environment, March 11-12, 2015, in Washington, D.C.

It has long been recognized that technology-based tools that help increase agricultural productivity may have positive and negative impacts on the environment. Technologies that require more intensive use of fertilizer or chemical inputs, for example, may generate the potential for more pollution of water resources. Yet technological changes that increase crop yields may improve efficiency of nutrient and water use, while saving non-agricultural land from conversion to farmland.

In both developed and developing nations, understanding agricultural productivity becomes more critical as population growth and climate changes put greater stress on water, soil and ocean resources. The March 11-12 conference will examine the latest research work on productivity measurement, tradeoffs between agriculture and environmental outcomes, new sources of data for measuring and valuing environmental services, and public policy options. Identifying research gaps is another goal of the workshop. Review the complete workshop agenda here.

The productivity conference is open to the public. Registration information is available here.

Farm Foundation will also hold a related, free forum titled, “The Nexus of Technology, Agricultural Productivity and the Environment,” at the National Press Club, in Washington, D.C. on March 11. More information is available here.