Why Try Commodity Challenge?

Join fellow Pennsylvanians and beyond in Commodity Challenge, an online grain trading game.
Why Try Commodity Challenge? - News

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Commodity Challenge, Screenshot from University of Minnesota Commodity Challenge Website

Commodity Challenge is an online grain trading game, featuring real-time cash, futures and options quotes for corn, soybeans and wheat. This opportunity to learn about commodity markets and pricing tools has reached over 20,000 ag students and farmers in 29 states and 6 countries.

Why play Commodity Challenge?

Grain marketing strategies are complex and difficult to teach. With its competitive and fun game environment, Commodity Challenge is a hands-on opportunity to learn about risk management and marketing strategies. Rather than discuss the pros and cons of futures and options pricing strategies, Commodity Challenge gives players the opportunity to put these tools to work in real time. Instead of explaining the benefits of a grain marketing plan, Commodity Challenge gives producers the chance to experiment with a plan in real time.

Other online trading games feature a speculative approach to the markets — "buy low and sell high." Commodity Challenge takes a different approach. Our game features real-time cash quotes from thousands of local markets from all corners of the country. Rather than play the role of a speculator, every participant in Commodity Challenge plays the role of a grain producer. Rather than address the speculator's need to buy low and sell high, participants accept the challenge of marketing agricultural products and learning to manage price risks.

History

Commodity Challenge is managed by the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota. The first version of Commodity Challenge was launched in February 2002, as a joint project of the Montana Grain Growers Association and Dr. Kevin McNew, President of GeoGrain.com. The Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota assumed site management duties in September 2010. With support from the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center (ERME), Minnesota Soybean and Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council (MAELC), a revamped game with supporting curriculum and videos was launched in March 2013. Thanks to support from the CHS Foundation, the mobile-friendly version of the site was released in December 2017.

The first step for anyone to play is to register with Commodity Challenge. Players find it to be very intuitive. Once they are registered, players can access the game from their home page. Simply select "Join a Game", at the right, under the CHS Foundation logo.

Penn State Extension has arranged for two games specific to Pennsylvania as well as a few open games that are suitable for everyone.

Game 1

Game title: Lancaster 2018 crop challenge
password: Lancaster
registration closes: May 31, 2019
start: now
end: July 1, 2019

What you have to practice trading:

  • Corn: 100,000 bushels harvested October 1, 2018, cash quotes from Triple M Farms in Lebanon, PA.
  • Soybeans: 30,000 bushels harvested October 15, 2018, cash quotes from Triple M Farms in Lebanon, PA.

Game 2

Game title: Allentown 2018 crop challenge
password: Allentown
start: now
registration closes: May 31, 2019
end: July 1, 2019

What you have to practice trading:

  • Corn: 100,000 bushels harvested October 1, 2018, cash quotes from FM Brown Sons Inc. in Fleetwood, PA.
  • Soybeans: 30,000 bushels harvested October 15, 2018, cash quotes from Albright's Mill in Kempton, PA.

Both games:

futures/options commission: $60/contract/round turn
storage: 3 cents/bu/month

We are encouraging players to join an "open" game to learn about the system, how to place orders, etc. People have fun with it. There is no risk. Real learning takes place. If feeling funny about using your name — register with an alias. Please share your thoughts and comments on the game. Don't hesitate to call or email John Berry at 610-554-2561 or johnberry@psu.edu.

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