Iowa Commodity Challenge Launches in Mid-November

AMES,Iowa — Central Iowans are invited to take part in a unique educational “game” this fall and winter. The Iowa Commodity Challenge, an online market simulation game, will give players an opportunity to learn firsthand how to improve strategies to sell cash corn and soybeans. The game includes the use of futures and ag options as marketing tools. 

Four ag marketing clubs will host meetings to launch the game; all meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. with registration at the door the night of the meeting. Introductory meetings will be held:  

  • Monday, Nov. 14 – Nevada, Story County Extension Office
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15 – Lynnville, First State Bank
  • Wednesday, Nov. 16 – Conrad, Mid-Iowa Co-op Grain Merchandising Office
  • Thursday, Nov. 17 – Ogden, Community Center

The November club meeting topic will be “Crop Marketing Outlook, Strategies and Tools,” presented by Steve Johnson, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and Ed Kordick, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. Instructions to enroll in the Iowa Commodity Challenge, as well as a 40-page marketing tools workbook, will be given to those enrolling.

The game allows participants to use a variety of tools to trade 50,000 bushels of corn and 20,000 bushels of soybeans stored at their local elevator. “It gives players a chance to look at commodity markets and how they work over the course of several months,” Johnson said. “This game is being set up in combination with the University of Minnesota. It reflects what is going on in the real world markets so we are able to try out some strategies in a setting where we can explore how our tools work.”

The online game ends Feb. 29, when participants must have sold their stored grain and settled any of their futures or ag options traded positions.

Participants can register for the game when they arrive at the November club meeting. A small registration fee will be charged. Attendance at this first club meeting is strongly encouraged. Follow-up meetings are planned at the same sites in February and March. For more information, contact the Story County Extension Office at 515-382-6551 regarding the Nevada meeting; Poweshiek County Extension Office at 641-623-5188 for the Lynnville meeting; Grundy County Extension at 319-824-6979 about the Conrad meeting; and the Boone County Extension Office at 515-432-3882 for the Ogden meeting.