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What is a Marketing Year Average Price?

Producers are calling asking about the FSA signup decision they have to make by March 15th.   Even though commodity programs have used marketing year average prices to trigger payments for decades, there still seems to be some uncertainty among producers. 

A quick look at nearby futures would indicate that neither agriculture risk coverage (ARC) nor price loss coverage (PLC) will likely trigger a payment for the 2022 crop.  While it makes some sense to look at nearby (old crop) and harvest time (new crop) futures to help decide what to plant, futures prices may or may not be a very good guide for program signup decisions. 

Why?  Because marketing year average prices start being calculated at harvest of this year’s crop ending prior to the next year’s harvest (Figure 1).  At the end of the marketing year, USDA will multiply each monthly price for the commodity by the percent of the crop marketed that month to arrive at a marketing year average price that weights the monthly prices with higher marketings greater than those months (like right now) with very little marketings occurring. 

While most would agree that the current futures outlook would indicate no ARC or PLC payments, trying to guess at weather, geopolitical and trade conditions around the world 18 months in advance can be daunting.

Figure 1.  Marketing Years and Expected Date Final Price will be Reported by Commodity.

CommodityMarketing YearPublishing Dates for the Final 2022/2023
WheatJun. 1- May 31August 28, 2023
BarleyJun. 1- May 31August 28, 2023
OatsJun. 1- May 31August 28, 2023
PeanutsAug. 1- Jul. 31August 28, 2023
CornSep. 1- Aug. 31September 30, 2023
Grain SorghumSep. 1- Aug. 31September 30, 2023
SoybeansSep. 1- Aug. 31September 30, 2023
Dry PeasJul. 1- Jun. 30September 30, 2023
LentilsJul. 1- Jun. 30September 30, 2023
CanolaJul. 1- Jun. 30September 30, 2023
Large ChickpeasSep. 1- Aug. 31November 30, 2023
Small ChickpeasSep. 1- Aug. 31November 30, 2023
Sunflower SeedSep. 1- Aug. 31November 30, 2023
FlaxseedJul. 1- Jun. 30November 30, 2023
Mustard SeedSep. 1- Aug. 31November 30, 2023
RapeseedJul. 1- Jun. 30November 30, 2023
SafflowerSep. 1- Aug. 31November 30, 2023
CrambeSep. 1- Aug. 31November 30, 2023
Sesame SeedSep. 1- Aug. 31November 30, 2023
Seed CottonAug. 1- Jul. 31October 30, 2023
Rice (Long Grain)Aug. 1- Jul. 31October 30, 2023
Rice (Med/Short Grain)Aug. 1- Jul. 31October 30, 2023
Rice (Temperate Japonica)Oct. 1- Sep. 30January 2024

Should I Buy STAX?

Outlaw, Joe. “What is a Marketing Year Average Price?“. Southern Ag Today 2(10.4). March 3, 2022. Permalink

Professor and Extension Economist
Co-Director, The Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M

Research Assistant Professor and Co-Director

The Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M