It’s official! After 124 years, the CME Group has announced it will close the farm futures trading pits July 2.

Why?… Open outcry volume has decreased by 75% since 2008. This year, open outcry futures contracts now make up only 1% of the company’s business.

According to the CME Group press release, the S & P 500 Standard Futures pit, which continues to provide an important venue for trading the underlying futures contract for the S&P 500 options on futures contract, will remain open, as will all options pits in both locations except for the DJIA ($10) and NASDAQ 100 options.  In addition, in Chicago, all options pits will be located on a single floor in the company’s Financial Room by September.

Historically speaking, the Chicago Board of Trade Exchange opened in 1848. Corn, wheat, and oats open outcry futures started trading in 1877. Soybean open outcry futures opened in 1936.