Technological Advances in Soybean Yields: A Disaggregated Approach



Increasing row crop productivity—as measured by yields per acre—is an important topic from a number of perspectives. On a global scale, increased output per unit of land is needed to meet growing world food demand. On a regional scale, investments in yield-enhancing basic research need to result in improved yields for producers. In this research we set forth to quantify the impact of technology, precipitation, and temperature on soybean yields. Specifically, a disaggregated approach is used to model Illinois soybean yields across the nine state crop reporting districts. The results show that weather impacts are similar across the crop reporting districts; however, technology benefits accrue at statistically different rates across regions. The results provide no evidence that soybean yields in Illinois are plateauing [JEL Classifications: Q130, Q160, Q190].