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Documentation

Note: the model forecasts are not official USDA forecasts. See USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates for official USDA season-average price forecasts. See USDA's Farm Service Agency information for official USDA CCP rates.

Forecast Updates

The Excel files are updated monthly and will be posted on the same day as the release of USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). See the ERS Calendar of Releases for the schedule.

Source Report

Users are highly encouraged to read Forecasting the Counter-Cyclical Payment Rate for U.S. Corn: An Application of the Futures Price Forecasting Model which provides background information on the futures forecast model for corn, its data requirements, the forecast procedure, and forecast results for crop years 2003/04 and 2004/05.

Information on commodity programs in the 2014 Farm Act can be found in the Crop Commodity Program and Crop Insurance pages in Agricultural Act of 2014: Highlights and Implications.

Model Components

Each spreadsheet model (corn, soybeans, and wheat) contains seven separate worksheets. The forecasts are provided on a marketing-year basis (September-August for corn and soybeans and June-May for wheat).

  • The Contents sheet provides an explanation of each spreadsheet in the file.
  • The 2014/15 forecast worksheet provides:
    • A weekly forecast of the season-average farm price received and implied price loss coverage (PLC) payment rate.  Users may change the weekly forecast by going to the Change forecast worksheet.
    • A chart of weekly forecasts for the entire marketing year.
    • An explanation of the detailed computational steps for the weekly forecasts for the marketing year.
  • The 2013/14 forecast worksheet provides:

    • A weekly forecast of the season-average farm price received and implied counter-cyclical payment rate. Users may change the weekly forecast by going to the Change forecast worksheet.
    • A chart of weekly forecasts for the entire marketing year.
    • An explanation of the detailed computational steps for the weekly forecasts for the marketing year.
  • On the Change forecast worksheet, users can change the model's forecasts by inserting their own numbers for futures prices, monthly basis values, and/or monthly marketing weights.
  • The Definitions worksheet defines key terms associated with the futures forecast model.
  • The Documentation worksheet provides a brief description of the forecast model, data sources, and forecast procedures.
  • The Data worksheet provides current and historical data needed to produce the marketing-year forecasts:
    • Weekly and monthly futures prices of the nearby contract by marketing year,
    • Monthly and annual farm prices received by marketing year,
    • Monthly basis values by marketing year,
    • Monthly marketing weights by marketing year,
    • Monthly season-average-price-received projections from WASDE, and
    • Policy parameters (target prices, loan rates, and direct payment rates, counter-cyclical payment trigger prices, and reference prices)

Additional Documentation

Additional documentation of the models and data can be found on the Documentation tab of each commodity spreadsheet.

Related Research

Using Futures Prices to Forecast the Season-Average U.S. Corn Price (a paper presented at the NCR-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management in St. Louis, MO, April 19-20, 2004) provides the theoretical background and forecast accuracy of the futures price model.

Last updated: Friday, July 11, 2014

For more information contact: Linwood Hoffman