Crop Marketing

Unlock Profitable Strategies: Crop Marketing Course

2023-2024 session enrollment is now closed. Come back for this coming November for 2024-2025 session.

Course Description

Crop Marketing is a non-credit professional certificate offered by Iowa State University that provides a learning opportunity for those who manage farm operations.

What was once exclusively a face-to-face workshop is now available for you to learn at your own pace, available from anywhere in the world. We all rely on crop specialists, and this course uses active learning tools to give you that expertise courtesy of leaders in the industry from the Iowa Farm Bureau and Iowa State University Extension.

In this course, you will explore the topics of price movements, contracts, basis movements, option values, and creating a successful marketing plan. The class consists of video presentations, learning activities, and educational quizzes. A special emphasis is given to comprehensive planning and risk management.

Intended Audience

The course is intended for a broad audience within the agricultural industry, such as row crop farming managers, Ag lenders, individual farmers, grain merchandisers, and agronomists. The course modules were designed to provide fundamental knowledge about grain markets and are particularly valuable for those interacting with marketing tools used to sell or purchase crops. While the course highlights examples from the corn and soybean markets, the knowledge is easily transferable to wheat and cotton markets. The course is also beneficial for a global audience as it features key concepts such as futures and options that are applicable internationally across various commodities and markets.

  • Learning Outcomes
  • Assessments
  • Course Outline

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Define key concepts in crop marketing and marketing success.
  • Apply various risk management strategies, including basis estimation, futures hedging, options trading, and pre-harvest marketing, to mitigate price and basis risks associated with crop marketing.
  • Select crop marketing contracts that best suit market conditions.
  • Evaluate a range of crop marketing tools, such as futures contracts, options, and forward cash contracts, to effectively manage basis and price risk.
  • Scenario-based activities
  • Quizzes (There are unlimited attempts. A grade of 80% or greater is required for each quiz)
  • Module 1: Successful Market Planning
  • Module 2: Futures Price Movements
  • Module 3: Basis Movements
  • Module 4: Using Crop Marketing Contracts
  • Module 5: Carrying Charge/Cost of Ownership
  • Module 6: Forward Cash Contracts
  • Module 7: Futures Accounts and Margins
  • Module 8: Why Consider Options?
  • Module 9: Store Cash and Buy Put
  • Module 10: Sell Cash and Buy Call
  • Module 11: Option Values (Intrinsic and Time)
  • Module 12: Marketing New Crop
  • Module 13: Conquer Marketing Concerns
  • Module 14: Wrap-Up & Crop Marketing Matrix

Course Procedures

The course opens on November 13, 2023. All coursework must be completed before the course ends on March 22, 2024. The approximate time to complete this course is 60 hours. Once your registration information is received, we will send you your username and password to access the course site.

You can complete the modules at your own pace. You must complete all required module items before you can progress to the next module. Upon completion of the assessment and the course, you will receive a certificate of completion.

Registration will open from November 1, 2023 to February 29, 2024. You can register at any time within this period.

Next course offering will be scheduled November 2024. Check back in October 2024 for information about future course offerings.

Course Materials

Course materials are provided within the course. No additional purchase is required.

Contact Information

Contact for more information.

Scholarship Rebates

Iowa Farm Bureau members will receive a $50.00 scholarship rebate after successful completion of the course. For more questions about the rebate, contact Zach Brummer, IFBF Farmer Education Program Manager at


Course is co-sponsored by Iowa Farm Bureau and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.




Registration Cost: $200.00 USD

Course Hours: 60 Hours

Course Start Date: November 13, 2023

Course End Date: March 22, 2024

Course Access Time: 130 Days


Chad Hart

Professor of Economics and Extension Economist
Iowa State University

  • Crop market specialist for ISU Extension for 10 years
  • Speaks to roughly 100 groups throughout the upper Midwest each year about ag markets and the factors that shape them
  • Served as U.S. Policy and Insurance Analyst with the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.