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Corn has been called the other yellow gold because of its value around the globe throughout most of the history of man. Corn is a member of the grass family of plants and is one of the native grains of the American continents. For thousands of years corn has been a staple of everyday life, serving as a source of food, energy and currency. Here is the grain and oilseed brochure courtesy of the CME Group. As an exchange traded commodity and future contract, corn futures is one of the two originals and is also the most liquid of the grain future contracts.
Cotton began trading in New York at about the same time that corn futures began trading in Chicago in the mid 1800’s. The original corn futures or forward contract was for 3000 bushels instead of the 5000 bushel contract of today. The corn market’s role in the production of ethanol has increased its demand because of the high prices for petroleum products. Corn, soybeans and wheat are often used to feed poultry and livestock and are sometimes substitutes for each other based on prices. As an example, if corn prices are too high, livestock farmers may feed their animals feed wheat or some other grain.