With more than 3,500 players from across the Corn Belt and virtually anywhere they grow corn or soybeans across the country, MarketMaxx — the Internet game from The Corn and Soybean Digest — is helping growers sharpen their marketing skills in a year that has seen price volatility, well, to the max.

The game, which began Jan. 1, involves a fictitious 100,000 bu. of corn and 50,000 bu. of soybeans, each player can trade any way he or she wishes. Sales can be through cash sales on a local market or through corn and soybean futures and options on the Chicago Board of Trade.

The contest, which can be monitored at www.MarketMaxx.net, continues through Oct. 31. At the end of the contest, winners are growers whose average contest price for corn or soybeans ranks first, second or third in either of the contests.

The first prize winner in the corn marketing contest will receive a year's use (not to exceed 100 separator hours) of a Massey Ferguson MF 9000 self-propelled combine, valued at $12,000.

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

Second place winners in each contest will receive a GPS manual guidance system from Mid-Tech valued at $3,750. Third place winners each will receive a computer and software from Syngenta Crop Protection valued at $2,500.

Massey Ferguson, Mid-Tech, Syngenta and Crop Insurance are MarketMaxx sponsors. Introduced by The Corn and Soybean Digest and our parent company Primedia last fall, MarketMaxx relates directly to the magazine's goal of providing growers with methods of maximizing production and marketing for profit.

The MarketMaxx.net Web site continues to provide players and other visitors with valuable information on current market trends and ways to develop and maintain a marketing plan. Each week's leaders in each of the corn and soybean marketing contests are listed.

Even if you aren't signed up for the MarketMaxx contests, taking a few minutes to visit www.MarketMaxx.net can enhance your marketing skills. And plan to take part in the 2006 MarketMaxx games, which are in the works.