Last year, pork producers enjoyed favorable market prices, but the importance of maintaining, evaluating and updating marketing plans remains critical.

While commodity prices for pork and feedstuffs are volatile, risk management procedures can be used to reduce producer risk to price volatility, while providing long-term economic return stability.

To assist producers in evaluating marketing alternatives, the Minnesota Pork Board and University of Minnesota are offering a one-day workshop at three locations throughout the state entitled “Managaing Prices for Optimal Pork Returns.”

Seminar dates and locations include March 1 (Marshall- AmericInn Hotel) March 2 (North Mankato- South Central Technical College) and March 3 (Austin- Riverland Community College). Participants will learn how managing price risk can help control hog prices and feed costs, evaluate contracting choices, develop a marketing plan, optimize profit margins, improve fiscal planning and supplement packer agreements.

The workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with lunch covered by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The morning program will concentrate on the fundamentals of futures and options contracts, while the afternoon session will concentrate on how to process and execute hog margin management.

Commodity risk management specialists from Commodity & Ingredient Hedging, LLC, will be providing instruction for both sessions.  Additionally, Greg Eaton, AgStar Financial Services, will discuss Livestock Risk Protection, a USDA-subsidized risk protection program administered by private insurance companies.

There is no cost for the workshop. Expenses are covered through funding from the National Pork Checkoff, but participants are asked to pre-register with the Minnesota Pork Board office at 800) 537-7675.  For more information, contact the Minnesota Pork Board office or Mark Whitney, University of Minnesota Extension Service swine educator, at (507) 389-5541

Minnesota Pork Producers Association, University of Minnesota