Corn Prices Climb After Slow Start

You can add corn to the list of commodities that seems to be struggling over the past year. Most agriculture commodities have seen modest or no increase from decade lows and corn hasn’t escaped from that category.

New data from the National Agriculture Statistics Service shows a small bump for corn prices between January and February, but the starting point for corn this year is still lower than the past two years.

The average corn price in Wisconsin for February of this year was $3.36 per bushel. That’s up $0.09 from January, but down $0.08 from last February and down nearly $0.40 from February 2015.

Where things go from here will depend on the play within international markets. Fellow corn titans Brazil and Argentina are expected to meet their large production and export predictions. Increased production in those nations could hold prices down as the United States competes for these export markets.

But domestic corn consumption shows some respite for the crop thanks to ethanol.

Corn ethanol production, an additive to gasoline, has increased five percent in the last year and that trend seems to continue. This ethanol drive will hopefully prop up corn prices domestically while competition in international markets will keep those export prices low. It just depends on which of these markets is stronger to determine which way prices earned by farmers will go.

Meanwhile, American farmers are expected to switch some of their acreage from corn to soybeans, a crop that has enjoyed a 15 percent increase in prices in Wisconsin in the last year.

Crop prices (March 31)

Rio Creek Feed Mill – Algoma

Commodity Price (per bushel) Basis
Corn $3.12 -0.46
New-Crop Corn $3.16 -0.65
Soybeans $8.78 -0.85
New-Crop Soybeans $8.78 -0.85
Wheat (SRW) $3.46 -0.75
New-Crop Wheat (SRW) $3.54 -0.80


Fox River Valley Ethanol – Green Bay

Corn $3.10/bushel -0.48
New-Crop Corn $3.36/bushel -0.45

Basis: The difference between the local cash price for a commodity and the Chicago cash price (where the Board of Trade sets national futures price).

Gas Price Averages

United States: $2.31

United States one year ago: $2.06

Wisconsin: $2.28

Wisconsin one year ago: $2.02

Northern Door: $2.29

Sturgeon Bay: $2.31

Other Commodities

Gold: $1,245.40/troy ounce

Silver: $18.22/troy ounce

Oil: $50.15/barrel

Sources:,,,, United States Department of Agriculture,

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