Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. was the inaugural guest on a new Facebook live series hosted by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville.

The series, Coronavirus Live Q&A, will serve as a weekly video discussion between Davis and various special guests to discuss issues impacting his district.

On the first episode, Guebert and Davis discussed the impact of the coronavirus on Illinois agriculture, federal assistance programs and planting season.

“Livestock probably is taking it on the chin the hardest at this time,” explained Guebert. “Commodity prices have gone through the floor, way below the cost of production. But I really worry about our young farmers and our livestock producers. I’ve gotten several phone calls over the last couple weeks. They (producers) are in dire straits. All of agriculture pretty much is in dire straits.”

Regarding federal assistance, Davis told Guebert he is a resource to find answers to loan or funding application questions.

“I know I’ve been working with some of your members (IFB’s) on Schedule F issues in regard to the PPP (Paycheck Protection) program and others,” noted Davis. “So, let’s keep in touch. If your farmers, your members have issues, then we can get clarified through the Department of Treasury or the SBA (Small Business Administration). Let us know. We’re happy to try to assist our constituents in that way.”

Guebert also discussed planting progress in Illinois, sharing that southwestern Illinois is up and running.

“It’s going in the ground really good. We got corn that is starting to spike the ground,” said Guebert. “A lot of acres of beans have gone in here in southwestern Illinois. We had a little bit of an issue with the delivery of anhydrous. And I think for the most part that was all across mainly southern Illinois. There was a problem with the terminal, and they got that fixed.”

In closing, Davis wished the agriculture community well and thanked them for their continued work.

“I certainly hope your members and you yourself and the entire ag community has a much easier spring than what you went through last year,” Davis told Guebert. “I want to thank you. I want to thank the Illinois Farm Bureau and your team for what you do. For your members and for agriculture, not just here in Illinois but for our nation.”