Volume 29, Issue 2, August 2004

August, 2004

By: Isik, Murat; Yang, Wanhong
A real options model is developed to examine the determinants of farmer participation in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This study contributes to the literature by developing a framework for ex post analysis of uncertainty and irreversibility. It extends the applications of real options models to analyze farmer participation in the CRP. The model incorporates land and owner attributes, and determines whether uncertainty and irreversibility affect the probability of participation. Option values play a significant role in farmer decisions to retire land by reducing the probability of participation. These results have implications for the design and implementation of conservation programs.

August, 2004

By: Rahman, Shaikh Mahfuzur; Dorfman, Jeffrey H.; Turner, Steven C.
Cottonseed crushers face substantial risk in terms of input and output price variability and they are limited in their planning by the lack of a viable futures contract for cottonseed or cottonseed products. This study examines the feasibility of cross-hedging cottonseed products using the soybean complex futures. Different cross-hedging strategies are evaluated for eight time horizons relative to the expected profit and utility of the crusher. A Bayesian approach is employed to estimate both model parameters and optimal hedge ratios, allowing consistency with expected utility maximization in the presence of estimation risk. The results reveal that both whole cottonseed and cottonseed products can be successfully cross-hedged using soybean complex futures. The profitability of cross-hedging cottonseed products depends on the size of the contract, the optimal choice of strategy, the time of hedge placement, and the hedging horizon.

August, 2004

By: Tonsor, Glynn T.; Dhuyvetter, Kevin C.; Mintert, James R.
Successful risk management strategies for agribusiness firms based on futures and options contracts are contingent on their ability to accurately forecast basis. This research addresses three primary questions as they relate to basis forecasting accuracy: (a) What is the impact of adopting a time-to-expiration approach, as compared to the more common calendar-date approach? (b) What is the optimal number of years to include in calculations when forecasting livestock basis using historical averages? and (c) What is the effect of incorporating current basis information into a historical-average-based forecast? Results indicate that use of the time-to-expiration approach has little impact on forecast accuracy compared to using a simple calendar approach, but forecast accuracy is improved by incorporating at least a portion of current basis information into basis forecasts.