Hanson, Steven D.

December, 2003

By: Lai, Jing-Yi; Myers, Robert J.; Hanson, Steven D.
Most previous research on post-harvest grain storage by farmers has assumed risk-neutral behavior and/or made restrictive assumptions about underlying price probability distributions. In this study, we solve the optimal on-farm storage problem for a risk-averse farmer under more general assumptions about underlying price distributions. The resulting model is applied to Michigan corn farmers and findings show, contrary to the "sell all or nothing" risk-neutral rule, risk-averse farmers will spread sales out over the storage season. As farmers become more risk averse, the optimal strategy is to sell more grain at harvest and spread sales over the storage season, even though this practice reduces expected return. This result is more consistent with observed farmer behavior than the "sell all or nothing" risk-neutral rule.

April, 2003

By: Wang, H. Holly; Hanson, Steven D.; Black, J. Roy
Participation in federal crop insurance programs has been encouraged through premium subsidies. The current subsidy depends on contract features as well as coverage levels. This type of subsidy rule causes farmers to choose contract designs and coverages that are not efficient for managing risk, in order to capture subsidy. Farmers are found to be as well off with a flat subsidy that is up to 25% less than the value of the current regressive proportional subsidy.