Implications of Alternative Agricultural Productivity Growth Assumptions on Land Management, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Mitigation Potential
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Future productivity growth in agriculture is necessary to satisfy rising food, fiber and bio-energy demands, and to contribute to global environmental objectives, including greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation. Conventional logic suggests that improved productivity per-unit area can spare additional agricultural land expansion, intensification on existing cropland, and land degradation. For example, higher net returns under status quo practices could lead to local intensification and land clearing if the localized yield improvements dominate any decline in market price that results from collective productivity improvements shifting out market supply. Alternative productivity growth scenarios were developed for this study based on historical observations of yield growth. Specifically, researchers estimated productivity growth parameters for all major US agricultural commodities across different time periods, then extrapolated future yields across several distinct scenarios. The agricultural sector depicts production possibilities for 40 primary crop commodities, 25 livestock commodities, and more than 50 processed goods.
author list (cited authors)
Baker, J. S., Murray, B. C., McCarl, B. A., Feng, S., & Johansson, R.