One of the most daunting aspects of farm management, at least for many of us, is mastering futures markets and learning to effectively utilize risk management tools. Fortunately, there are some resources that can help.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is hosting nine free price-risk management workshops across the state to help farmers hone their marketing skills. "Managing Price Volatility/Identifying Macro Indicators," will be conducted by NCDA&CS staff between Jan. 15 and March 12.
NCDA&CS' range of topics makes a long list. Among others, these include an introduction to grain hedging, basis trading, cost of carry, cotton futures, energy derivatives, options trading on futures, equities and indices, using options to manage financial risks, and trading strategies to manage exposure to fluctuations in energy costs.
"The information covered in these free workshops can help farmers improve their bottom line, which is especially critical in a challenging economic climate," says N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.
Workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. except where noted below. Lunch is on one's own and workshop registration is not required. The schedule and locations are:
Tuesday, Jan. 15 - Robeson County Agriculture Building (O.P. Owens Building), Lumberton, 910-671-3276;
Tuesday, Jan. 22 - Wayne County Cooperative Extension, 208 W. Chestnut St., Goldsboro, 919-731-1521;
Tuesday, Feb. 5 - McSwain Extension Education & Agriculture Center, 2420 Tramway Road, Sanford, 919-775-5624;
Friday, Feb. 8 - Northampton Cooperative Extension Center, 9495 N.C. 305, Jackson, 252-534-2831. Times are 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. prior to a peanut production meeting;
Tuesday, Feb. 12 - Halifax County Cooperative Extension Center Auditorium, 359 Ferrell Lane, Halifax, 252-583-5161. Times are 9 to 11:30 a.m. prior to a cotton production meeting;
Tuesday, Feb. 19 - Pasquotank Cooperative Extension Center Auditorium, 1209 McPherson St., Elizabeth City, 252-338-3954;
Tuesday, Feb. 26 - Pitt County Cooperative Extension Center Auditorium, 403 Government Circle, Greenville, 252-902-1704;
Tuesday, March 5 - Stanly Community College, Crutchfield Campus, Room 135, 102 Stanly Parkway, Locust, 704-991-0251.
Tuesday, March 12 - Carolina Farm Credit's Administrative Office, 146 Victory Lane, Statesville, 800-521-9952.
To learn more about the workshops, contact Nick Lassiter, NCDA&CS marketing specialist, at 919-707-3129.