The University of Nebraska’s Market Journal Toolbox helps farmers and ranchers maximize profitability while reducing risk to improve their bottom line.

The toolbox offers 16 video and PowerPoint educational sessions to provide critical information in agricultural marketing and risk management.

Segments run 30 minutes to an hour and are designed to provide materials farmers can put to use immediately, says Darrell Mark, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) livestock marketing specialist and one of the Market Journal Toolbox educators.

“Price volatility has increased substantially in the last decade,” says Mark. “Decreasing margins in production agriculture, increasing globalization and outside speculative investment interest has created a greater need for marketing and risk management skills.”

UNL Extension created the toolbox so farmers could increase their knowledge of key risk management tools, select contracts and risk management tools that complement each other, apply strategies to reduce exposure to price, basis and production risk, and improve grain and livestock selling prices.

Toolbox sessions include: Introduction to Toolbox, Cost of Production, Crop Insurance, Livestock Insurance, Government Programs, Cash Market Contracts, Futures Markets, Futures Hedging, Options Market, Hedging with Options, New Generation Grain Contracts, Combination Strategies and Evaluating the Alternatives.

The toolbox CD comes with written summaries and spreadsheets, checklist, glossary of terms and cost of production spreadsheets.

Cost for the 16-part toolbox is $349. To order, visit the “Market Journal” Web site at //MarketJournal.unl.edu and click on Market Journal Toolbox, or call (800) 755-7765.