A message from Sr. Vice President of Agri Services Craig Childs about MFA Incorporated's supply chain.
To: MFA Customers
Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Supply Chain Update
As events continue to evolve concerning COVID-19, we have received questions about the supply of livestock and agronomy products for the coming weeks and months. At MFA, we understand how important the next few months are to the livelihood of farmers and ranchers. We are focused on continuing our operations to meet your needs. Along those lines, we have implemented plans at MFA retail facilities to limit face-to-face interaction among customers and employees. Where it is possible, certain MFA employees will work from home or rotate schedules to minimize contact. MFA is also involved with organizations such as the Agriculture Retailers Association, National Feed and Grain Association, and the Missouri Agriculture Industry Council (Mo-Ag). These organizations are actively counseling local and federal governments on actions that will support the continued supply of agriculture goods and services in the coming months. Below is an update from the director for each of our core supply areas.
Our sales staff will conduct as much business as possible by phone, text or email. We are all still available to help with any need you have. Just reach out to us. We will still make essential farm visits as needed. Our sales staff will use proper social distancing and avoid close contact while on the farm.
We currently have a good supply of plant food products in our retail locations and warehouses. We are working daily to increase these inventory levels. There are a lot of uncertainties in the marketplace around transportation. MFA has a large fleet of trucks to help service our own needs and will keep these trucks rolling. However, we do rely on outside carriers to help during peak-demand periods. We have daily conversations with these companies to make sure we can still depend on their help. MFA continues to monitor this situation on an hourly basis and will make any changes necessary to have product in place where it is needed.
Our retail stores are currently stocked with everything you need to get started. MFA distribution centers are stocked with product and ready to refill our retail locations as you begin moving product. If you have purchased products you will be applying yourself, we encourage you to be proactive in picking them up now. We communicate with product vendors daily to understand any supply challenges that may show up. As of today, all vendors are operating distribution systems and logistics as usual. The majority of the crop protection products for the 2020 season are already in the United States. Problems with international shipping should not be an issue. We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments where needed.
We intend to continue operating all feed mills and are fully staffed to meet your feed and animal health needs. Should we see interruptions in any part of our feed manufacturing process, we have plans in place to prioritize feed production around confinement animals. We have seven feed mills in our system with enough available capacity to pull additional feed from other locations if any single mill is unable to meet demand. Currently, we have adequate ingredient supplies. Vendor shipments continue to arrive as usual. Should we run short of any single ingredient, we have plans in place to formulate the best rations possible with the resources at hand. As always, we are available to answer any livestock-related questions you may have.
A high percentage of MorCorn, DeKalb, NK and Mycogen seed corn has been delivered to retail locations. If you can take delivery of seed, it would be appreciated. This would help relieve logistics complications should further quarantine situations develop. Seed beans are roughly 50% delivered to retail stores, with the remainder set for delivery in the next 45 days. We have been in contact with our seed delivery carriers and do not see significant issues getting seed delivered.
We will continue to have weekly deliveries from our centralized warehouse and make every effort to ensure adequate supplies of the products you need. At this time, we have not received any notifications of manufacturing facilities being shut down. Freight is always a concern, and we will continue to monitor freight issues and adjust our plans accordingly.
We have been advocating with the National Grain and Feed Association to ask Congress to expand weight limits for moving agricultural products such as grain, feed, fertilizers and other agricultural retail products during this difficult time. At our grain facilities, we ask farmers to remain in their trucks when delivering grain. We are not allowing anyone into our offices except employees. When grain is sold, we will mail checks as quickly as possible.
We value your business and are focused on having products in place to service your needs. Please be patient with our staff as we adjust to these new processes.
Thank you for your continued support,
Sr VP Agri Services
READ RELATED: Operational Precautions for COVID-19
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