IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Empirical confidence intervals for USDA commodity price forecasts

Listed author(s):
  • Olga Isengildina-Massa
  • Scott Irwin
  • Darrel Good
  • Luca Massa

Conventional procedures for calculating confidence limits of forecasts generated by statistical models provide little guidance for forecasts based on a combination or a consensus process rather than formal models, as is the case with US Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasts. This study applied and compared several procedures for calculating empirical confidence intervals for USDA forecasts of corn, soybean and wheat prices over the 1980/81 through 2006/07 marketing years. Alternative procedures were compared based on out-of-sample performance over 1995/96 through 2006/07. The results of this study demonstrate that kernel density, quantile distribution and best fitting parametric distribution (logistic) methods provided confidence intervals calibrated at the 80% level prior to harvest and 90% level after harvest. The kernel density-based method appears most accurate both before and after harvest with the final value falling inside the forecast interval 77% of the time before harvest and 92% after harvest, followed by quantile regression (73% and 91% before and after harvest, respectively) logistic distribution (73% and 90% before and after harvest, respectively) and histogram (66% and 84% before and after harvest, respectively). Overall, this study demonstrates that empirical approaches may be used to construct more accurate confidence intervals for USDA corn, soybean and wheat price forecasts.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 43 (2011)
Issue (Month): 26 ()
Pages: 3789-3803

in new window

Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:26:p:3789-3803
DOI: 10.1080/00036841003724429
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:26:p:3789-3803. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.