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Farm Management

First Mid Ag Services is a professional property management service helping the farmland owner benefit from the service, experience and knowledge of highly qualified farm managers. Each manager uses his abilities, First Mid Ag Services’ support systems, and the skills of others in the agribusiness field to see that the clients' property is managed in an efficient manner consistent with the farm’s ownership goals.  To speak with your farm management expert, please contact 217-855-8358.

The activities of First Mid Ag Services professional farm managers are many and varied. Below is a look at some of the activities and duties that are the responsibility of professional farm managers and are the principal service areas we provide:

      1. GOAL SETTING - One of the first steps we take is to confer with the landowner to develop a clear understanding of needs and goals for their property and its investment returns. A client may identify priorities for a variety of objectives for their farm including:
        • optimal income,
        • management continuity,
        • budgeting,
        • improved crop marketing
        • asset conservation
        • regular communication about farm activities,
        • cost control,
        • or others.
      2. PRODUCTION PLANNING - The manager's primary tool in working with the farm operator is the annual operating plan. This plan is prepared with the operator and covers all phases of agricultural production including field layout, crop rotation, fertility practices, tillage methods, chemical use, seed variety selection, planting populations, government farm programs, environmental safety, and all other factors pertaining to optimum farm production.
      3. PRODUCTION MARKETING - A key area with great impact on farm income is commodity marketing. The professional manager develops an effective marketing program for all commodities produced on the farm. Through First Mid Ag Services, an extended marketing program is available to better manage commodity price risk, while maintaining simplicity and other advantages of cash contracts.
      4. ACCOUNTING AND RECORDKEEPING - The farm manager operates an account for the farm to process farm receipts and pay farm expenses. First Mid’s own state-of-the-art computer information system also maintains an accurate record of all financial transactions and provides the landowner a periodic report. First Mid monitors and controls the accuracy of its client’s financial position continually.
      5. FUND MANAGEMENT - To make the most efficient use of operating capital, First Mid Ag Services provides short-term sweep cash management of the farm’s operating funds.
      6. EXPENSE CONTROL - By exercising operational control through the use of well-organized farm operating and financial plans, the manager is able to ensure that farm expenditures are consistent with profit goals. Expenses are closely monitored for accuracy and competitive pricing. Where beneficial to the landowner, quantity purchases are used to gain favorable pricing through quantity discounts.
      7. LEASING AND FARM OPERATOR SELECTION - The manager works with the farmowner to select the optimum lease type or operating structure for the farm to achieve client goals. When necessary, the farm manager will interview and recommend qualified candidates to be considered by the landowner in selecting a farm operator. The manager will also negotiate and implement lease terms (see right column) consistent with the landowner's goals – equitable to both the owner and operator. The client always maintains the authority and control for the farm operation.
      8. REPORTING AND CLIENT COMMUNICATION - The professional manager provides reports to keep the landowner informed of financial progress and production activities. Detailed reports provide well organized, easy to understand, concise information to simplify income tax reporting and add understanding and pride to farmland ownership.
      9. PRODUCTION SUPERVISION - Periodic farm manager visits are critical to monitor crop development, measure farm operator performance, plan capital improvements, direct needed farm maintenance, and ensure proper implementation of farm plans. An effective farm manager is regularly on the farm and in the country to provide the best service.
      10. SOIL STEWARDSHIP AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY - The long-term conservation effects of operating decisions are given high priority. The intent of an experienced farm manager is to direct production practices and tillage methods to improve conservation and erosion control while maintaining high farm returns. All practices and procedures directed by First Mid Ag Services are consistent with environmental safety.
      11. FARM MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENTS - During farm visits the professional manager's objective is to inspect the property and to identify and correct maintenance problems or environmental concerns before they become serious. The manager also makes recommendations and supervises implementation of capital improvements that would benefit the farming operation. The property owner approves all major improvements or repairs. 
      12. INSURANCE ADMINISTRATION - The farm manager reviews all insurance pertaining to the farm operation to ensure proper coverage liability, property/casualty, and multi-peril crop risks. Managing insurance is related to the goals and risk tolerance of both the farm and its owners. In many cases, First Mid Ag Services can assure substantial premium savings, for the same or better coverage, by insuring through blanket policies negotiated for volume and expertise advantages.



The Benefits of a Farm Manager in a Cash Rental Arrangement are:

  • Selection of a farm operator.
  • Analysis and monitoring of financial condition of operator.
  • Negotiation and completion of a written cash rent lease with selected operator.
  • Filing needed crop liens.
  • Complete crop plan with the farm operator to maintain crop listing on property and provide a record of fertilizers and chemicals used on the property. Soil test farm and manage fertility levels on farm. An owner should at least be sure that enough limestone and fertilizer is applied to at least maintain current Ph, P1 and K levels.
  • Certify crops on the farm to maintain acreage bases.
  • Collection of cash rent.
  • Investment of farm account funds.
  • Payment of any farm bills for things such as repairs, limestone, insurance and real estate taxes. Secure necessary building and liability insurance for the owner at blanket rates.
  • Farm visits to property to monitor conditions of farm and crops.
  • Communication with owner on crop conditions and farm condition.
  • Provide quarterly financial reports for the owner. At the end of the year, tax worksheets that are included in the financial reports will assist our customer in their income tax preparation.
  • Soil conservation should be a concern for all landowners. The USDA has set requirements for erosion control on farms that have highly erodible acreage. We monitor the SCS farm plan to make sure compliance is met. We are familiar with the tillage procedures that will reduce erosion and will encourage our use. We are expanding the use of no-till farming on all kinds of our farms.