Taxpayer funded research a boon to farmers


It’s been several decades since land grant universities first began developing hardier strains of rice, corn and other agricultural commodities, but the benefit to growers has been clear, according to a new study. Increased yields, better disease resistance and greater profitability are the byproducts of this taxpayer-funded research.

The study, co-authored by four University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture experts, looks at how such programs benefit consumers around the world, as well.

“Estimating the Benefits of Public Plant Breeding Programs,” is slated to be published in an upcoming volume of the Journal of Agricultural Economics and was co-authored, in part, by Lanier Nalley, professor of agriculture economics for the department of agricultural economics and agribusiness, and Karen Moldenhauer, professor of crop, soil, and environmental science. Alvaro Durand-Morat, a research assistant professor for the Division of Agriculture, and Aaron Shew, now an assistant professor and the Wilson Chair of Agricultural Business at Arkansas State University, were also co-authors.

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