Elsewhere, South Korea is grappling with both a deadly bird flu outbreak and a political crisis. Other strains of the highly contagious virus have been found elsewhere in Asia, including China and Japan. All told, the outbreaks and growing number of culled birds could reduce demand for poultry feed ingredients such as corn and soymeal.
"We don't expect the [corn] demand to improve globally anytime over the short or medium term due to the bird flu outbreaks outside the United States," said Terry Reilly, a senior commodity analyst at Chicago brokerage Futures International. "South Korea has already seen the blunt of it with more than a quarter of their bird flock culled."
The bird flu problems are also a worry in Western Europe, including France — the EU's largest poultry producer — where authorities on Monday confirmed more infections. The Netherlands and Germany also have reported cases of the bird flu.
Reilly believes corn could stay higher in the first quarter but then might start turning lower. He's much more bullish on the prospects for wheat futures.
"The wheat price has the best chance for appreciation out of the major [ag] commodities given that they hit multi-year lows recently," Reilly said. The analyst adds that recent dryness in the Great Plains region could trigger impacts, including a chance the USDA may report winter wheat seeding down slightly compared with a year ago.
Then again, some point out the key ag commodities such as corn, soybean and wheat as well as dairy and meat products remain vulnerable to the strong dollar because it makes the American ag products less competitive in the global marketplace. In wheat, for example, Ukraine has made major inroads as an exporter to India.
As for corn, it could be influenced by how crude oil performs in 2017 — and the uncertainty surrounding the ethanol mandate in a Trump administration.
Around 40 percent of the country's corn supply was used for biofuels in late 2016, according to the USDA. The portion of soybeans going to biofuels isn't as large but still represents just over 20 percent of the supply.
Trump's selection of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as Energy Secretary and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seen by some analysts as a threat to alternative transportation fuels like ethanol and biodiesel since both of them are viewed as pro-oil. In 2008, Perry called the ethanol mandate "the biggest scam that's ever come along."
The EPA could reduce its ethanol volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
One thing some industry analysts don't appear worried about now is President-elect Trump causing trade war that would hurt American ag exports to China.
"China's appetite for soybeans is so strong I don't think they can completely cut the U.S. out of the import plan," said Seifried.
He said the export situation with China from a corn perspective "doesn't really get much worse because we're not really exporting much corn to China." On the other hand, if trade relations get better with China he believes there could be a "significant upside potential for corn."