Volatile markets are nothing new to agricultural producers, but  the best ways to reduce risk are not always apparent. In order to help producers navigate the volatility, K-State Research and Extension will host two workshops covering Risk Assessed Marketing on Jan. 26-27, in Assaria, Kan.

“The higher commodity market volatility has increased the financial risk in production agriculture and those same risks have increased crop insurance premiums,” said Tom Maxwell, agriculture and natural resources extension agent, based in Salina, Kan. “In addition, an expected reduction in commodity program funding has caused many producers to question whether there is a better method to manage risk; but where to start?”

The RAM I Workshop on Jan. 26, 2012 is designed for producers who are just starting to use risk management tools, including board-traded options, said Maxwell, who is a crops and soils specialist in the Central Kansas Extension District. The RAM II Workshop on Jan. 27, 2012 is an advanced level workshop for producers who have used advanced trading strategies such as the selling of covered puts to reduce crop insurance cost.

Both daylong workshops will be held at the Assaria Community Building, 315 E. Main, Assaria, Kan. Both workshops start at 8:30 a.m. with registration and end at 4 p.m. Registration is $20 per participant and covers all workshop materials and a noon meal. Pre-registration is required, with a deadline of Jan. 20. Registration is limited to 30 persons for each workshop. Checks made payable to CKD#3 may be mailed to: Central Kansas Extension District, P.O. Box 5040, Salina, Kan. 67402-5040. Attendees are asked to designate whether they are attending the RAM I or RAM II workshop or both.

Each workshop will include a case farm study, with participants managing a typical grain farm. Participants will select the type and level of crop insurance, decide on Farm Service Agency program participation, and work through a typical grain marketing year, Maxwell said.

RAM II participants will have the opportunity to use more advanced grain marketing strategies. Following the workshop, producers should have a better understanding of how crop insurance, when combined with alternative marketing techniques, may reduce farm financial risk and increase farm income, he said.

More information is available at www.agmanager.info, click on “2012 RAM Workshops” or call Maxwell at 785-309-5850.