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Abstract

The purpose of this research report is to evaluate the pricing performance of market advisory services for the 1995-2003 corn and soybean crops. Four basic indicators of performance are applied to advisory program prices and revenues over 1995-2003. Test results provide little evidence that advisory programs as a group outperform market benchmarks, particularly after considering risk. The evidence is somewhat more positive with respect to the farmer benchmark, even after taking risk into account. For example, the average advisory return relative to the farmer benchmark is $7 per acre with only a negligible increase in risk. While this return is small it nonetheless represents a non-trivial increase in net farm income per acre for grain farms in Illinois. Test results also suggest that it is difficult to usefully predict the year-to-year pricing performance of advisory programs based on past pricing performance. However, there is some evidence that performance is more predictable over longer time horizons, particularly at the extremes of performance rankings.

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