If you grow corn or soybeans, you're playing the grain game. Now you can sign up for MarketMaxx, an online trading contest, and play the grain game without betting the farm. The Corn And Soybean Digest has created MarketMaxx, our version of the grain game, to let you hone your marketing skills, gain more marketing savvy, and, if you're good, take home some loot.

Depending on your final ranking, you could win a year's use of an Massey Ferguson 9000 series combine, a year's use of either a Massey Ferguson 7400 or 8400 series high-horsepower tractor, a complete computer and software package worth $5,000 from Syngenta Crop Protection or one of two new Mid-Tech lightbar guidance systems.

Maximizing your marketing means growing your profit potential. With MarketMaxx, you get to develop a preharvest marketing plan and make real-world sales using your local basis, just like you would with your actual crop.

To get started, see “Preharvest Marketing Pays” on page 16 for tips on how to set up your preharvest marketing plan. Then, visit www.MarketMaxx.net and sign up to play. When you sign up, you'll get an e-newsletter twice monthly with market commentary from our columnist Alan Kluis, executive vice president of Northstar Commodity Investment, Co. and a 30-day free trial subscription to CBOT Advantage which provides real-time streaming quotes, news and weather.

How To Play MarketMaxx:

  1. Visit www.MarketMaxx.net, fill out a simple form and you're signed up. You can register until June 1, 2005. Historically, those who market early average a better price and therefore early registrants have a better chance to win. There's no cost, and we don't sell your name.

  2. Develop your preharvest marketing plan using the market plan tool on www.MarketMaxx.net.

  3. Market your fictional 100,000-bu. corn and 50,000-bu. soybeans anytime, in any increments, using any combination of cash sales, futures and options trades until the contest ends October 31, 2005.

How MarketMaxx Works:

When you sign up, you'll be assigned a local basis location to make your trades more realistic, and to make the game a better educational tool. All the local basis locations will be averaged daily to a national benchmark price. Your national standing will be calculated based on your adjusted average price/bu. [(national benchmark price - price/bu. sold) + price/bu. sold]. This allows a level playing field for those who have normally high basis levels and those who don't. Farmers with the best average price/ bu. on Oct. 31, 2005, will win prizes. You must be actively farming to participate. For complete contest rules, see page 14.