Giltner, Neb.

This winter has been an interesting one. After we received 4-plus inches of rain in December, we have missed most of the snows that have come through, outside of a little dusting a few times. This past weekend, we finally got enough snow that the kids are excited they can go sledding. And with more forecasted, they are excited.

While we don’t have animals to have to worry about, trying to keep the snow moved and the belt augers unfrozen to load trucks are our biggest challenge with the snow. We will take the moisture when we can get it.

One of the fun things this time of year is going to meetings with farmers from all over the country. We get to hear what things are like (wet in many parts) while discussing what is currently going on in the industry, what we can try to do to help improve the farm economy, and what things look like the world over.

The last two weeks were spent at National Corn Growers Association committee meetings and board meeting, and then with the U.S. Grains Council on their International Marketing Conference, which included their advisory team meetings and delegate meeting. Both were very informative and had different elements to them.

The NCGA meeting started out the week coming off the Bud Light ad in the Super Bowl and NCGA’s response to it. It allowed the opportunity to spend time with Pete Coors, and MillerCoors showed up to our meeting with a truckload of products, which the farmers greatly appreciated. There was a connection made with the Coors family since they — like many farms — go back generations in their family as part of the business. That natural connection was great to see. After getting through that, we were able to get down to the business of the association, dealing with ethanol, farm economy, membership, new uses and many other areas.

The U.S. Grains meeting is always interesting to see what is being done for corn, barley and sorghum the whole world over. As the population, and especially the middle class, grows worldwide, it is important that we are building relationships so those economies are ready and able to purchase U.S. corn, including ethanol and DDGs, as well as barley and sorghum.

A number of the places we are looking at — like Africa, especially sub-Sahara, and Southeast Asia — have growing markets and are going to be extremely important in the future. These groups that are involved in developing relationships and opening markets for the American farmer, like U.S. Grains Council, U.S. Meat Export Federation and the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council are going to be vital in years to come.

One of these days, we will really get going on preparing the equipment for the upcoming season, but for now we will enjoy the snow and wait for warmers weather. If anyone ever has any questions, please email me at brandon@hunnicuttfarms.com.

Basis levels: Corn, -$0.39; soybeans, -$1.15-$1.41. — Brandon Hunnicutt