The partial government shutdown of USDA and more than half a dozen other departments and agencies is now into its third week, with impacts being felt far and wide. Farm Bill implementation, spring planting decisions, food stamp spending and many other activities that depend on government funding, are or will soon be in limbo, due to the partial government shutdown.
American Farm Bureau Executive Director Dale Moore said producers can’t wait much longer for USDA to ‘get back on its feet.’
“When a farmer is making planting decisions, it runs the gamut from what the market is saying, to what his creditors or her creditors, are telling them, as they look into the new year, how the risk management options, whether it’s crop insurance or the farm programs, themselves and certainly, some of the other provisions in the farm bill, as farmers make plans for the conservation programing.”
USDA canceled key crop reports this week due to the partial government shutdown, depriving markets and producers of key price-setting and planning data. Moore said producers need certainty, and they need it soon.
“All of those pieces are critically important, and right now, the missing element is, how soon can they get into an open FSA office, and sit down and figure those details out.”
Market Facilitation payments were continuing, but without farm bill rules and staff, new ARC or PLC and other signups won’t happen.
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