The Market Journal Toolbox is now available to help farmers and ranchers maximize their profitability and minimize their risk when it comes to their bottom line.

The Market Journal 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 and packaged to provide advice and strategies farmers and ranchers can apply immediately, says Darrell Mark, University of Nebraska-Lincoln livestock marketing specialist, and one of the Market Journal Toolbox educators.

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

Developed by UNL Extension, the toolbox can help farmers and ranchers increase their understanding of key risk management tools, select contracts and risk management tools that complement each other, understand and apply strategies to minimize exposure to price, basis and production risk and improve grain and livestock selling prices.

By the end of the sessions, producers will have learned how to use some advanced marketing strategies, including the combined use of futures, options and crop insurance.

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.

Plus, the CD includes written summaries of each section and spreadsheets, along with a tool selector, toolbox checklist, glossary of terms and cost of production spreadsheets.

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