This study is an independent scholarly analysis of the economics of the grain futures contracts of the Chicago Board of Trade. The study was made possible by a research grant to the MidAmerica Institute from the Chicago Board of Trade, and we gratefully acknowledge this financial support, as well as the information and vast body of experience made available to us by the Division of Economic Analysis and members of the Exchange. Several other organizations also provided invaluable help from the inception of this study through the full process, either in the form of information, or through discussion: the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Grain and Feed Association, the American Soybean Association, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, the House Committee on Agriculture, the General Accounting Office, and the Center for the Study of Futures and Options Markets at Virginia Polytechnic and State University. We express our thanks. The primary authors wish to extend a special word of apprecia tion to Michael Brennan, Merton Miller, Richard Roll, Hans Stoll and Lester Telser, who served as members of the Resource Panel for the study. While key strengths of the study reflect their input, ultimate responsibility for the analysis rests with the primary authors.