MarketMaxx, The Corn And Soybean Digest game designed to help growers become better marketers, is back for a second year and ready to open even more doors to those eager to sharpen their marketing skills and have a chance to win big prizes.

MarketMaxx 2005 was a huge success, with more than 3,500 players taking part in two separate corn and soybean marketing contests.

Even more players are expected for MarketMaxx 2006, which begins play this fall. First actual trades on the corn and soybean marketing contests will begin the first trading day of January 2006.

For 2005, the players had a fictitious 100,000 bu. of corn and 50,000 bu. of soybeans to market through futures, options or cash sales. Farmers with the highest price on all of their allotted bushels as of midnight Oct. 31 were declared winners.

Steve Mercer, a Kearney, NE, grower who played this year's MarketMaxx game, says his family used some of the things they learned from MarketMaxx in some of their actual corn and soybean trades.

“A good thing about MarketMaxx was that you depended more on your gut feeling to make corn or soybean trades,” says Mercer, whose brother, Scott, read about the contest and suggested they play. “We saw how those trades would function without actually being in the market. Some things we learned from those gut feelings were used in our actual trades and we've benefited from them.”

First prize in the 2005 corn marketing contest was one year's use of a Massey Ferguson MF 9000 Self-Propelled Combine (up to 100 separator hours of a use), a $12,000 value.

First prize in the soybean contest was a year's use (not to exceed 250 hours) of the grower's choice of any Massey Ferguson tractor in the MF 7400 or MF 8400 series, also valued at $12,000.

Massey Ferguson was a sponsor in the contest, along with Mid-Tech, Syngenta Crop Protection and Crop 1 Insurance, as well as Primedia Business, which publishes The Corn And Soybean Digest.

Second place winners in each contest received a GPS Manual Guidance System from Mid-Tech valued at $3,750. Third place winners received a computer and software valued at $2,500 from Syngenta Crop Protection.

MARKETMAXX 2006 GUIDELINES

As in the 2005 contest, each participating entrant will be given a simulated value of 100,000 bu. of corn and 50,000 bu. of soybeans as a trading base at the time they enter the contest. Entrants will place simulated orders in quantities on dates and times they determine during the course of the contest.

New for 2006 is the addition of forward contracting through a grain elevator.

Also, participants may sell old-crop corn and soybeans on the cash market. Tentatively, rules are being set that will enable participants to be assigned an additional 30,000 bu. of corn and 15,000 bu. of soybeans for the old-crop sales.

Trades can be made at any time after the first trading day in January. All entrants must have submitted orders to price all of their allotments of corn and soybeans by Oct. 31, 2006. On Oct. 31, 2006, entrants who have achieved the highest average selling price for corn and the highest average selling price for soybeans will be determined winners, provided they meet all contest rules and requirements.

Contest participants can sell and buy back 2006 Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soybean and 2006 CBOT corn futures or options in 5,000-bu. increments as often as they want during market hours (the system uses 10-minutes delayed quotes).

At-the-market futures and options orders will be filled within 10 minutes of submitting the trade if submitted within exchange hours. If submitted after hours, orders will be filled when the market opens the next day. Set price and stop-order trades will be filled when the set price or stop is realized.

Participants can make cash sales in any full-bushel increment at any time. At-the-market cash orders will be filled within 10 minutes of submitting the trade. Cash orders above the market will be filled when the set price is realized. Any open order can be deleted before the trade is filled.

A rundown of all rules and regulations of the contest can be seen on page 16 and at www.MarketMaxx.net. This Web site was popular among players and others the past year. It provided daily information on leaders in the corn and soybean marketing contests.

The Web site also features charts that illustrate the movement of various corn and soybean futures contracts. In addition, it offers a library of information on marketing, including marketing commentary from Al Kluis of Northstar Commodity Investment Company and Kevin McNew of CashGrainBids.com. Plus, it provides plenty of data to help enhance your ability to get that extra profit from your crops.

The MarketMaxx.net section that helps guide players through setting individual marketing plans will likely receive a lot of action again for 2006.

MarketMaxx players will also receive a regular MarketMaxx e-newsletter that will provide updates on contest leaders and the latest in market commentary and trends.

In playing the game, Mercer indicated that while MarketMaxx showed his “gut” instincts were often correct, sometimes they weren't.

“That's why we like the game. It enables us to learn more about how the market actually works,” he says. “I look forward to the 2006 game and a chance to learn more about becoming a better marketer.”

Look for additional information on MarketMaxx in upcoming issues of The Corn And Soybean Digest and at www.MarketMaxx.net.