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The Pricing Performance of Market Advisory Services in Corn and Soybeans Over 1995-2001: A Non-Technical Summary

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The purpose of this research report is to summarize the pricing performance of professional market advisory services for the 1995-2001 corn and soybean crops. 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. So, the results provide mixed performance evidence with respect to market benchmarks and consistently positive evidence with respect to the farmer benchmark. 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 1995-2001 sample period provides a reliable guide to future differences in pricing performance.

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