The U.S. attorney's office says Chris Wessels, of Earlville, received a government loan on his corn crop and then sold it without repaying the loan.
Wessels pleaded guilty on Friday in federal court in Cedar Rapids to one count of stealing corn mortgaged to the Commodity Credit Corporation.
Prosecutors say the corn was mortgaged in 2007 as a security for a $61,000 loan, but he sold the corn to pay other bills.
Wessels faces up to 5 years in prison. No sentencing date is set.