What is a 'Crop Year'

A crop year is a period from one year's harvest to the next for an agricultural commodity. The crop year varies for each product. The crop year influences the price of a commodity, since the quality of the harvest may differ from year to year, depending on weather conditions and other factors.

BREAKING DOWN 'Crop Year'

Due to the timing of the harvests, crop years for most agricultural commodities do not coincide with the calendar year. For example, the crop year for wheat in the United States runs from July 1st to June 30th, while that for soybeans runs from September 1st to August 31st, according to futuresknowledge.com.

Crop years for coffee are even more diverse with three separate crop years: April 1st to March 31st in 13 coffee producing countries, July 1st to June 30th in 7 countries and October 1st to September 30th in 31 more countries, according to thecoffeeguide.org. Crop year variation exists because coffee grows in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Sugar is another commodity with various crop years. For example, in Australia Sugar cane grows for 12 to 16 months before being harvested between June and December each year.

The crop year not only differs from the calendar year but also varies from the accounting year. An accounting year is usually the financial year for an agricultural commodity producer. It can sometimes be the tax year as well. The Farm Business Survey in the United Kingdom says a crop year refers only to those crops (except for certain horticultural crops) wholly or partly harvested during the accounting year and excludes any crop carried over from the previous year.

For some agricultural products, there may be two crops in a year. These timing differences make statistics on worldwide annual production very difficult to collate: any single twelve-month period may encompass a whole crop year in one country but will also include the tail end of the previous year’s crop and the beginning of the next year’s crop in others, according to coffeetime.wikidot.com.

USDA Crop Year Estimates

The U.S. Department of Agriculture continually publishes reports with supply and demand statistics and forecasts for various crop years. These reports show the last crop year's output, an estimate of the current crop year and projections of next crop year's production. Data reported is a measure of output, total supply available, expected use, expected trade and ending stocks. Data is also broken down per commodity.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Crop Yield

    Crop yield is a measurement of the amount of agricultural production ...
  2. Agroforestry

    Agroforestry integrates open-space agriculture and forest management ...
  3. Agribusiness

    Agribusiness is the business sector encompassing farming and ...
  4. Commodity Trader

    A commodity trader is an individual or business entity that focuses ...
  5. Marginal Land

    Marginal land usually has little or no potential for profit, ...
  6. Soft Commodity

    A soft commodity is a grown commodity such as coffee, cocoa, ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    The Industry Handbook: The Agriculture Industry (COW, LSTK)

    Learn about the major lines of businesses involved in the agriculture industry and why this industry as a whole may be the most important in the world.
  2. Insights

    How To Invest In Farming Without Owning a Farm

    Investors have a number of ways to get exposure to the agriculture and farming sector besides actually having to buy a farm.
  3. Investing

    Investing Seasonally In The Corn Market

    Each month can bring new growth opportunities, if you know where the right investment seeds are.
  4. Investing

    Agrium's Surprise Q3 Loss Affirms Need for Potash (AGU, POT)

    Agrium was hurt by weak crop nutrient sales, which declined 14% during the quarter, while crop-protection product revenue was down 5%.
  5. Investing

    Why Is Monsanto Evil, but DuPont Isn't?

    Monsanto may be one of the most-hated and most-controversial global companies, but competitors like DowDuPont behave in very similar ways.
  6. Investing

    Agriculture Stocks That Pay Dividends

    Here is a list of dividend-paying agro stocks which, though not immune to financial ups and downs, tend to be solid performers.
  7. Investing

    Top ETFs for Investing in Coffee (JO, CAFE)

    Learn about the market for coffee, one of the largest agricultural markets, and two ETFs that investors can use to obtain exposure to the coffee market.
  8. Insights

    How China Makes Money (BABA, PFE)

    China has the first or second largest GDP in the world but is not nearly as developed as others in the top 10.
  9. Investing

    Should You Invest In Agricultural Commodities And Stocks?

    With rising food prices and a booming agricultural industry, we look at whether the current market is a good investment opportunity.
  10. Investing

    3 Under The Radar Stocks That Could Soar 30%

    Fertilizer stocks could take off due to increasing demand stemming from crop shortfalls in South America.
RELATED FAQS
  1. When do I need to file an IRS Schedule F form?

    If you are a farmer, your farming business may require you to file a Schedule F with the IRS. Read Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between derivatives and options?

    A derivative is a financial contract that gets its value from an underlying asset. Options offer one type of common derivative. Read Answer >>
  3. When does Q4 start and finish?

    Learn about different financial years used by various companies. Explore when the fourth quarter begins on October 1st and ... Read Answer >>
  4. What's the difference between a commodity and a product?

    Understand the difference between commodities and products, and learn how they are connected to each other and to market ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center