The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will host seven free price-risk management workshops across the state to help farmers better understand the futures market and other trading options to sell their commodities.

The series, “Managing Price Volatility by Using Futures and Options,” features workshops conducted by NCDA&CS staff between Jan. 19 and March 4. Topics to be covered include an introduction to grain hedging, basis trading, cost of carry, cotton futures, energy derivatives, and options trading on futures, equities and indices. There will also be information on trading strategies to manage exposure to fluctuations in energy costs.

“The information covered in these workshops can help farmers improve their bottom line, which is critical in today’s challenging economic climate,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The classes are free and farmers are encouraged to take advantage of them.”

The workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at each location, with an on-your-own lunch break. Registration is not required.

Following are the schedule and locations:

• Tuesday, Jan. 19 -- Robeson County Agriculture Building, Lumberton, (910) 671-3276;

• Tuesday, Jan. 26 -- Wayne Community College, Goldsboro, (919) 735-5151;

• Friday, Jan. 29 -- Pitt Community College, Greenville, (252) 493-7200;

• Thursday, Feb. 11 -- Halifax Community College, Weldon, (252) 536-6343;

• Tuesday, Feb. 16 -- Pasquotank Cooperative Extension Center, Elizabeth City, (252) 338-3954;

• Tuesday, March 2 -- Stanly Community College, Crutchfield Campus, Locust, (704) 991-0378;

• Thursday, March 4 -- Carolina Farm Credit, Statesville, (800) 521-9952.

For more, contact Nick Lassiter, NCDA&CS marketing specialist, at (919) 733-7887.