Agricultural Finance & Commodity Markets
Research in agricultural finance focuses on firm financial management anywhere in the agricultural sector (meaning farms, farm input suppliers, food and fiber processors, and food retailers) and the use and issuance of credit to firms in the agricultural sector. Research on the credit side can include the study of loans to farmers as well as examination of the behavior of banks in making or denying loans to farms or other related firms. Studies of commodity markets include research topics such as the efficiency of commodity futures markets, the process of price discovery in these commodity markets, the behavior of commodity prices when significant events occur, and the use of futures markets in risk management. Such research is important to farmers and food processors who want to use price forecasts for planting and production decisions and to minimize or reduce the risk they face from uncertain prices of commodities they are either buying or selling though the use of hedging in futures markets.