Using historical data, University of Illinois ag economist Gary Schnitkey says it's possible to lay down a distribution of possible 2016 harvest prices for corn.
"This analysis suggests about a 20 percent chance of harvest prices less than $3.00 per bushel," he says. "Given the chance of low prices, farmers should maintain high coverage levels when purchasing crop insurance."
Schnitkey says undoubtedly, harvest price will differ from projected prices earlier in the season. However, between 1972 and 2015, the average harvest price differed only $0.08 lower than the average projected price. That suggests projected prices are good indicators of harvest prices, he says.
"Stated alternatively, if you could repeat 2016 many times, the average of the resulting harvest prices would be near the projected price," he says.