MarketMaxx winners are behind the wheel. Marcus Spotts and Seth Taylor didn't exactly drive off into the sunset at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. But the two growers did put the finishing touches on the first year of MarketMaxx.

They accepted their grand prizes for being the best corn and soybean marketers in the game from The Corn And Soybean Digest.

Spotts, a corn and soybean grower from Nora Springs, IA, was top marketer in the MarketMaxx corn marketing contest. He took the keys to a new Massey Ferguson MF 9000 Self-Propelled Combine for use for a full year (up to 100 separator hours).

Taylor, a grower and farrow-to-finish hog producer in Owensville, IN, won the MarketMaxx soybean marketing contest. He received a year's use of a new Massey Ferguson MF 7400 or MF 8400 series tractor (not to exceed 250 hours).

“We plan on using the tractor for general jobs around the farm and probably for some planting,” says Taylor, who is already placing high in early MarketMaxx 2006 trading.

“We have been as high as eighth on corn and 17th on soybeans. Corn prices look good, but I think they will go a little higher,” he says.

Spotts has MarketMaxx orders in to move corn and soybeans at higher prices expected this month through May. “Technically, these markets haven't made much since,” he says. “Prices have been high even though there is still corn piled on the ground (in some areas).”

He plans on using the new combine this fall when harvesting the 700 acres of corn and 700 acres of soybeans he intends to plant.

Fall is when the MarketMaxx 2006 game officially ends. Players who obtain the highest average selling price for their fictitious 100,000 bu. of corn and 50,000 bu. of soybeans by Oct. 31, 2006, will be winners.

Grand prize winners will again take home a year's use of a Massey Ferguson combine for the corn contest and a Massey Ferguson tractor for the soybean marketing contest.

Massey Ferguson is a MarketMaxx sponsor, along with Syngenta Crop Protection.

Runner-up winners will receive a new computer system from Syngenta. Other winners will receive rugged mobile computers from Grayhill Custom Mobile Solutions or a high-speed satellite Internet service package from Agristar Global Networks.

Agristar Global Networks and Grayhill Custom Mobile Solutions are prize sponsors. The Corn And Soybean Digest and its parent company, Prism Business Media, are also sponsors.

As of late February, there were more than 4,400 people playing MarketMaxx. If you are not yet taking part in the games, go to www.MarketMaxx.net and sign up.

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 the market hours.

Trades are made at the www.MarketMaxx.net site, which also includes a number of features that can help you become a better marketer. First, there are charts that give the most recent nearby corn and soybean market prices for the three nearby contracts. There is also a marketing library and guide to writing a marketing plan.

Alan Kluis, contributing marketing consultant to The Corn And Soybean Digest, provides market commentary, along with Cash Grain Bids, Inc., which coordinates the Web site. Players receive a periodic MarketMaxx e-newsletter, featuring updates on contest leaders, market commentary and news important to corn and soybean production and prices.

MarketMaxx can teach you to better market grain futures and options without having to make actual trades. There are no margin calls — only calls to congratulate you if your MarketMaxx final prices are among the winners.

For more information on MarketMaxx, go to the www.MarketMaxx.net site. Maybe you can take the wheel of a new tractor or combine — free of charge — this time next year.