Plain, Ronald L.

July, 1998

By: Kastens, Terry L.; Schroeder, Ted C.; Plain, Ronald L.
This study evaluates agricultural forecasting accuracy in an analysis of responses to the Annual Outlook Survey conducted by the American Agricultural Economics Association from 1983 through 1995. Representative extension and composite, production, and price forecasts for several commodities are constructed from the survey data. These forecasts are compared to each other and to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and futures-based forecasts. Relationships between forecast features and accuracy are examined. Generally, extension forecasts are more accurate than USDA forecasts for livestock series, but not more accurate for crops. Composite forecasts are often more accurate than either extension or USDA forecasts.