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Pre-Harvest Price Expectations for Corn: The Information Content of USDA Reports and New Crop Futures


  • Andrew M. McKenzie


This article examines the puzzle of why futures prices continue to react to USDA crop reports despite the fact that reports appear to be no longer “newsworthy,” that is, provide no better production estimates than private forecasts. The information value of reports is measured in terms of their influence on rational agents' harvest-time corn price expectations, which are uncovered using a Hamilton-type modeling approach. Results show that reports are still “newsworthy,” as they would contribute to agents' price expectations if released a day early. Thus futures price reactions, which closely reflect price expectations, are rational and consistent with efficient markets hypothesis. Copyright 2008, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew M. McKenzie, 2008. "Pre-Harvest Price Expectations for Corn: The Information Content of USDA Reports and New Crop Futures," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(2), pages 351-366.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:90:y:2008:i:2:p:351-366

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    Cited by:

    1. Lehecka, Georg V., 2014. "The Value of USDA Crop Progress and Condition Information: Reactions of Corn and Soybean Futures Markets," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 39(1), April.
    2. Karali, Berna, 2012. "Do USDA Announcements Affect Comovements Across Commodity Futures Returns?," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(1), April.
    3. Pruitt, J. Ross & Tonsor, Glynn T. & Brooks, Kathleen R. & Johnson, Rachel J., 2013. "End User Preferences for USDA Market Information," 2013 Annual Meeting, February 2-5, 2013, Orlando, Florida 143007, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. Xiao, Jinzhi & Lence, Sergio H. & Hart, Chad E., 2015. "Do analysts forecast the ending stocks or the USDA forecasts?," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205759, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    5. repec:ags:jrapmc:122315 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Isengildina, Olga & Irwin, Scott H. & Good, Darrel L., 2013. "Do Big Crops Get Bigger and Small Crops Get Smaller? Further Evidence on Smoothing in U.S. Department of Agriculture Forecasts," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 45(01), February.
    7. Bahram Sanginabadi, 2018. "USDA Forecasts: A meta-analysis study," Papers 1801.06575,
    8. David Ubilava, 2012. "Modeling Nonlinearities in the U.S. Soybean‐to‐Corn Price Ratio: A Smooth Transition Autoregression Approach," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 29-41, January.
    9. Adjemian, Michael K. & Johansson, Robert & McKenzie, Andrew & Thomsen, Michael, 2016. "The Value of Government Information in an Era of Declining Budgets," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235811, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Karali, Berna & Isengildina-Massa, Olga & Irwin, Scott H. & Adjemian, Michael K., 2016. "Changes in Informational Value and the Market Reaction to USDA Reports in the Big Data Era," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235580, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Xiao, Jinzhi, 2015. "Essays on the forecasts of ending stocks," ISU General Staff Papers 201501010800005902, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    12. Joseph, Kishore & Garcia, Philip, 2016. "Intraday Market Effects in Electronic Soybean Futures Market during Non-Trading and Trading Hour Announcements," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235772, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    13. repec:eee:ecolet:v:156:y:2017:i:c:p:58-60 is not listed on IDEAS

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