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Abstract

This paper investigates the informational value of USDA crop progress and condition information by analyzing reactions of corn and soybean futures markets from 1986 to 2012. Results show significant differences between close-to-open return variabilities on report-release trading days and pre- and postreport days. Additionally, market prices tend to react rapidly and rationally to new crop-condition information. Strongest reactions are found for July and August, when weather conditions are most critical for the crop, and reactions have increased over time. Overall, these results suggest that reports have substantial informational value.

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