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The Pricing Performance of Market Advisory Services in Corn and Soybeans Over 1995-2004: 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 1995-2004 corn and soybean crops. On average, the results show that the frequency of advisory programs pricing in the top-third of the corn price range over 1995-2004 is modest, between 17 and 25%. By far the largest average frequency occurs in the middle third of the corn price range, ranging from 58 to 63%. Price range results for soybeans are similar to the results for corn. Average differences between 50/50 advisory revenue and benchmarks range from 5 to $7 per acre for market benchmarks and 8 to $12 per acre for farmer benchmarks. The average advisory return relative to the farmer benchmarks is about three percent of average farmer benchmark revenue. Even though this return is small and mainly from corn, it nonetheless represents a non-trivial increase in net farm income per acre for grain farms in central Illinois. The AgMAS research report by Irwin et al. (2006) contains complete pricing performance results. In particular, additional results show that consideration of risk weakens performance results in some cases and that it is difficult to predict the pricing performance of advisory programs based on past performance.

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