COLUMBIA, Mo. - MFA Incorporated announced Friday it will close five Agri Services centers in Missouri, including Bronaugh, Columbia, Essex, Fulton and Springfield.
Operations and employees at MFA's headquarters in Columbia will not be affected by the closures.
According to a press release, customers of those locations should use equipment from other nearby MFA Agri Services Centers.
Jim Gesling manages the Centralia MFA Agri Services center. He said the center will adjust to accommodate the customers who will start to use it.
"Frankly we do quite a bit of business already with people out of the Columbia area. Either a service is not offered or a product is not offered at that location that we do offer," Gesling said.
According to a statement, urbanization has affected the Columbia and Springfield locations over time, making trucking grain into the two facilities more difficult.
MFA has tried to compensate by expanding its grain system in Centralia to help area farmers.
Gesling said the Centralia center has updated equipment, while the Columbia location needs some major updates. He cited the location's elevator as one piece of equipment that is outdated.
"The concrete's gotten old. The equipment inside's gotten old, and unfortunately that's the case at the two locations south, you know, and the cost to rebuild stuff anymore is just tremendous," he said.
Gesling said times are changing, and consolidating centers will allow MFA to be more efficient.
"There was a day when having an MFA in every single town was beneficial and everything from the standpoint, again people didn't have large trucks. They weren't willing to travel. We didn't have the internet," he said.
He said the biggest effect on farmers will be the distance they have to drive.
That same press release stated a majority of employees affected by the closures have accepted positions within the company. The closures will eliminate four positions.
The last day of operations in Columbia and Fulton will be July 17. The other locations will close by July 31.
MFA plans to sell the property in Columbia on Paris Road.