Agricultural Policy Review


Yield growth in agricultural crops is of importance to those who make long-term projections of food availability and price levels. Menz and Pardey (1983) found that the trend growth in corn yields was lower in the 1970s than in the previous two decades. Tannura, Irwin, and Scott (2008) cited a number of crop experts and seed companies who believe that improved technology, particularity biotechnology, will increase the rate of yield growth in corn. Yu and Babcock (2010) found that percentage losses due to drought have been reduced over time, offsetting one of the major impediments to stronger yield growth. However, other researchers have argued that climate change will slow or even reverse the rate of yield growth (World Bank 2013).