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First Mid Ag Services News

First Mid Ag Services work adjusts for Covid-19

March 31, 2020

First Mid Ag Services work adjusts for Covid-19

March 30, 2020

What is First Mid Ag Services doing?
As the Country and World go through the unusual event of Covid-19, our First Mid Ag Services Team would
like you to know that we continue working to represent our client’s farm ownership interest. We are a
part of two essential services, agriculture and banking, and are working both remotely and in the office to
maintain our efforts for clients going into spring planting. Staff taking temperatures daily before coming
to work and social distancing have now been part of our routine for several weeks to make sure we keep
safe. First Mid was also an early employer to grant additional sick days to employees to allow them
flexibility to stay home as illness, daycare changes, etc. might require. All of these needed steps to stay
safe are a focus of all First Mid employees and management as we deal with the Covid-19 virus.

How has Agriculture been impacted by Covid-19?
For Ag, and everyone else, allocation of the $2 Trillion relief program (CARES Act) is yet to be defined. The
USDA got $9.5 billion for the impact of Covid-19 and another $14 billion to replenish some discretionary
funds that had been used for the 2018 and 2019 Market Facilitation Program payments. We anticipate
these funds will be the source of allocated relief funds for Ag on Covid-19. At this point, the “damage” to
Ag had been through the ethanol industry. Lower crude oil prices, along with less travel and gas use, has
reduced the need for corn to produce ethanol. Livestock production use has moved from restaurants to
grocery stores, so demand for feed grain has not cratered. Possible port closures in Brazil and Argentina
have also influenced grain prices on a daily basis, and appear to be an item of continuing discussion in
those countries. So, the world is shifting demand for grain and grain prices reflect that uncertainty/shift.
The markets are already focused on how many acres will get planted in 2020. Weather and all of the usual
questions on how much will we produce are the current discussions. Farmers will go to the field in Illinois
in a couple of weeks and we will get a crop planted and growing.

What about Spring planting preparations?
Spring is now here and the planting season will soon follow. We continue to prepare for that normal
course of business and a start to a new growing season. Many preparations for this year began last Fall,
so the finishing touches are now being applied. Farmers, and all of us, are anxious to have something
“normal” occur. Planting will be the first chance to make that happen, and everyone involved with
agriculture in the Midwest is getting ready for it.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or any of our farm managers. Stay Safe!

Brian R. Thompson, AFM, ARA
President, First Mid Ag Services
Phone: (309) 665-0959