Growmark and Mid-Iowa Cooperative on Dec. 5 announced an agreement for Growmark to purchase the agronomy and energy assets of Mid-Iowa Cooperative. The transaction is anticipated to close by mid-December and is expected to leverage the two companies’ strengths to serve local farmers more effectively.
Mid-Iowa Co-op CEO Mike Kinley hailed the agreement as a “major step forward” in providing Mid-Iowa members with critical agronomic and energy services. “Working with Growmark is a combination that will bring our members the best of the best in supply services and grain market access,” he says.
Brent Ericson, Growmark senior vice president of member services, said the companies are also exploring a potential joint venture in which Growmark and Mid-Iowa Cooperative would collaborate to provide greater access to grain end-user markets.
Major step forward for both
Barry Schmidt, Growmark vice president of retail business, says the collaborative nature of the agreement positions both companies to provide significant value to customers well into the future. “This agreement will provide many opportunities to give our customers significant value, both in the agronomy and energy supply marketplace, and the grain business. We look forward to working with Mid-Iowa to continue to further this vision.”
“I’m excited about this partnership,” says Bob Hogle, board president of Mid-Iowa who farms near Conrad in central Iowa. “Ag supply businesses are changing rapidly, with consolidation at the farm level occurring faster than retail consolidation. This deal aligns two strong companies to ensure that our members get top-shelf service and long-term value.”
“When we thought of how to improve our performance in the grain business, we immediately thought of Mid-Iowa,” Erickson says. “Mid-Iowa Co-op is well-known for having first-class grain facilities and bringing producer-members opportunities for marketing their grain.”
Growmark acquires Iowa propane terminal
In November, Growmark acquired a propane terminal from Plains LPG Services near Fort Madison, Iowa. Discussions leading up to the deal began in 2018. Plains LPG was looking to reposition its propane terminal and reached out to Growmark. This terminal in the southeast corner of Iowa is the sixth in the Growmark network, helping make Growmark the nation’s fourth-largest propane retailer. Growmark owns five other terminals in Iowa, South Dakota, Ohio and Missouri.
This acquisition is not an immediate reaction to the current propane shortage that began in the 2019 fall harvest season, nor will it bring any immediate relief to the propane delivery issues in the Midwest.
“Negotiations related to this acquisition had been going on for some time,” says Carol Kitchen, Growmark’s vice president of energy and logistics. “Acquiring the Fort Madison terminal is another step in our strategy aimed at creating the most efficient and reliable supply chain possible for our members and customers. This infrastructure becomes particularly important in periods of extreme demand for propane such as we’ve experienced this fall.”