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Abstract

The purpose of this research bulletin is to summarize the pricing performance of professional market advisory services for the 1995-2000 corn and soybean crops. The pricing performance results over 1995-2000 suggest several key findings. First, advisory programs in corn do not consistently beat market benchmarks, but they do consistently beat the farmer benchmark. Second, advisory programs in soybeans tend to beat both market and farmer benchmarks. Third, in terms of 50/50 revenue, advisory programs only marginally beat market benchmarks, but consistently beat the farmer benchmark. Overall, there is mixed evidence that advisory programs as a group outperform market benchmarks, while substantial evidence exists that advisory programs as a group outperform the farmer benchmarks. Caution should be used when considering the results, due to the relatively small sample of crop years available for analysis. In particular, the presence of sharp downward price trends in most crop years makes it difficult to determine whether the 1995-2000 sample provides a statistically reliable picture of future differences in pricing performance.

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