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Source Farm Foundation news release

The relationship between agrarian structure and agricultural productivity will be the subject of an international conference planned Feb. 2-3 in Washington, D.C.

The conference--Farm Size and Productivity: A Global Look--is a collaboration of USDA's Economic Research Service and Farm Foundation, NFP. Researchers and economists from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the United States will discuss new research findings on agricultural development.

Sessions will be 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 2, and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 3 at the First Floor Auditorium of Patriot's Plaza III, 355 E. Street SW, Washington, D.C.

Several of the papers to be presented move beyond comparisons of land productivity to total factor productivity (TFP). They explore newly available panels of farms to compare not only differences in productivity levels, but also productivity growth by farm size. Other studies examine how specific policies, institutions and behaviors may explain observed productivity differences across farms.

"Sustaining agricultural productivity growth is a key factor in our ability to feed the world's increasing population," says conference organizer Keith Fuglie, an economist in the Structure, Technology and Productivity Branch of the Resource and Rural Economics Division of ERS. "This conference is an important opportunity to expand our understanding of the relationship between the size and structure of farm operations and agricultural productivity in different location and cropping scenarios worldwide."

Presentation topics will include: consolidation in U.S. agriculture; farm size and productivity in the U.S. Corn Belt; the relationship between farm size and productivity in Australia's grain industry; policy reforms and productivity growth in the European Union dairy sector; and the farm size productivity relationship in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

This conference is targeted to public policy officials, economists and those interested in global development and productivity. The workshop is free of charge but registration is requested. Complete online registration at:

Mary Thompson, Vice President Communications, Farm Foundation, NFP (630) 601-4152

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