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Abstract

Data from the WSU wheat variety test program along with spatially interpolated historic weather records present a unique opportunity to compare wheat variety performance across time and Washington State geography. A key assumption in this analysis takes wheat variety to be genetically constant year-over-year. This assumption allows us to separate breeding versus farm-level productivity gains. Furthermore, across the wide variety of climate regions within Washington State, productivity gains can be measured for different climate regions, allowing a unique contribution to the body of literature attempting to differentiate the various technology contributions to farm productivity. Analysis of breeder contributions to wheat productivity gains are then applied to state-wide USDA productivity data and determine the economic benefit provided by the wheat variety improvements to average $1.8M per year (2010 dollars).

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