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The Pricing Performance of Market Advisory Services in Corn and Soybeans Over 1995-2001

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Author Info

  • Irwin, Scott H.
  • Martines-Filho, Joao
  • Good, Darrel L.

Abstract

The purpose of this research report is to evaluate the pricing performance of market advisory services for the 1995-2001 corn and soybean crops. The results for 1995-2000 were released in earlier AgMAS research reports, while results for the 2001 crop year are new. Certain explicit assumptions are made to produce a consistent and comparable set of results across the different advisory programs. These assumptions are intended to accurately depict “real-world” marketing conditions facing a representative central Illinois corn and soybean farmer. Several key assumptions are: i) with a few exceptions, the marketing window for a crop year runs from September before harvest through August after harvest, ii) on-farm or commercial physical storage costs, as well as interest opportunity costs, are charged to postharvest sales, iii) brokerage costs are subtracted for all futures and options transactions and iv) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) marketing loan recommendations made by advisory programs are followed wherever feasible. Based on these and other assumptions, the net price received by a subscriber to market advisory programs is calculated for the 1995-2001 corn and soybean crops. Market and farmer benchmarks are developed for the performance evaluations. Two market benchmarks are specified in order to test the fragility of performance results to changing benchmark assumptions. The 24-month market benchmark averages market prices for the entire 24-month marketing window. The 20-month market benchmark is computed in a similar fashion, except the first four months of the marketing window are omitted. The farmer benchmark is based upon the USDA average price received series for corn and soybeans in Illinois. The same assumptions applied to advisory program track records are used when computing the market and farmer benchmarks. Four basic indicators of performance are applied to advisory program prices and revenues over 1995-2001. The results provide limited evidence that advisory programs as a group outperform market benchmarks, particularly after considering risk. In contrast, more evidence exists that advisory programs as a group outperform the farmer benchmark, even after taking risk into account. Little evidence is found that advisory programs with superior performance can be usefully selected based on past performance. The results raise the intriguing possibility that even though advisory services do not appear to “beat the market,” they nonetheless provide an opportunity for farmers to improve marketing performance because farmers under-perform the market. Mirroring debates about stock investing, the relevant issue is whether farmers can most effectively improve marketing performance by pursuing “active” strategies, like those recommended by advisory services, or “passive” strategies, which involve routinely spreading sales across the marketing window.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics in its series AgMAS Project Research Reports with number 37510.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uiucrr:37510

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Keywords: Agricultural Finance; Financial Economics;

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References

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  1. Jirik, Mark A. & Irwin, Scott H. & Good, Darrel L. & Jackson, Thomas E. & Jirik, Mark A. & Martines-Filho, Joao, 2000. "The 1995 Through 1998 Pricing Performance Of Market Advisory Services For Wheat," AgMAS Project Research Reports 14777, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.
  2. David Hirshleifer, 2001. "Investor Psychology and Asset Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1533-1597, 08.
  3. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "Are Some Mutual Fund Managers Better Than Others? Cross-Sectional Patterns in Behavior and Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 875-899, 06.
  4. Jackson, Thomas E. & Irwin, Scott H. & Good, Darrel L., 1998. "1996 Pricing Performance Of Market Advisory Services For Corn And Soybeans," AgMAS Project Research Reports 14787, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.
  5. Sergio H. Lence & Marvin L. Hayenga, 2001. "On the Pitfalls of Multi-Year Rollover Hedges: The Case of Hedge-to-Arrive Contracts," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(1), pages 107-119.
  6. Brown, Stephen J & Goetzmann, William N & Ibbotson, Roger G, 1999. "Offshore Hedge Funds: Survival and Performance, 1989-95," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(1), pages 91-117, January.
  7. Brorsen, B. Wade & Anderson, Kim B., 1994. "Cash Wheat Marketing: Strategies for Real People," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, vol. 12(2).
  8. Tomek, William G. & Peterson, Hikaru Hanawa, 2000. "Risk Management in Agricultural Markets: A Survey," Staff Papers 121140, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  9. Good, Darrel L. & Martines-Filho, Joao & Irwin, Scott H., 2002. "The Pricing Performance Of Market Advisory Services In Corn And Soybeans Over 1995-2000," AgMAS Project Research Reports 14784, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.
  10. Schroeder, Ted C. & Parcell, Joseph L. & Kastens, Terry L. & Dhuyvetter, Kevin C., 1998. "Perceptions Of Marketing Strategies: Producers Versus Extension Economists," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 23(01), July.
  11. Andrew Metrick, 1998. "Performance Evaluation with Transactions Data: The Stock Selection of Investment Newsletters," NBER Working Papers 6648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Cabrini, Silvina M. & Stark, Brian G. & Irwin, Scott H. & Good, Darrel L. & Martines-Filho, Joao, 2004. "Portfolios Of Agricultural Market Advisory Services: How Much Diversification Is Enough?," 2004 Conference, April 19-20, 2004, St. Louis, Missouri 19013, NCR-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
  13. Brorsen, B. Wade & Anderson, Kim B., 2001. "Implications of Behavioral Finance for Farmer Marketing Strategy Recommendation," 2001 Conference, April 23-24, 2001, St. Louis, Missouri 18952, NCR-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
  14. Pennings, Joost M.E. & Good, Darrel L. & Irwin, Scott H. & Gomez, Jennifer K., 2001. "The Role Of Market Advisory Services In Crop Marketing And Risk Management: A Preliminary Report Of Survey Results," AgMAS Project Research Reports 14772, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.
  15. Good, Darrel L. & Irwin, Scott H. & Jackson, Thomas E., 1998. "Development Of A Market Benchmark Price For Agmas Performance Evaluations," AgMAS Project Research Reports 14783, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.
  16. Brorsen, B. Wade & Irwin, Scott H., 1996. "Improving The Relevance Of Research On Price Forecasting And Marketing Strategies," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 25(1), April.
  17. Carpenter, Jennifer N. & Lynch, Anthony W., 1999. "Survivorship bias and attrition effects in measures of performance persistence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 337-374, December.
  18. Garcia, Philip & Adam, Brian D. & Hauser, Robert J., 1994. "The Use Of Mean-Variance For Commodity Futures And Options Hedging Decisions," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 19(01), July.
  19. Kent Daniel & David Hirshleifer & Avanidhar Subrahmanyam, 1998. "Investor Psychology and Security Market Under- and Overreactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 1839-1885, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Cabrini, Silvina M. & Irwin, Scott H. & Good, Darrel L., 2005. "Style and Performance of Agricultural Market Advisory Services," 2005 Conference, April 18-19, 2005, St. Louis, Missouri 19037, NCR-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
  2. Irwin, Scott H. & Martines-Filho, Joao & Good, Darrel L., 2003. "The Pricing Performance Of Market Advisory Services In Corn And Soybeans Over 1995-2001: A Non-Technical Summary," AgMAS Project Research Reports 14770, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.

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