Farm credit lenders say the partial government shutdown is adding to their concerns over the general down state of the farm economy. Farm Credit Council leaders are pleased Secretary Perdue has brought back some 2,500 FSA county staffers to help producers with existing loans and tax documents, through Tuesday. However, FCC President Todd Van Hoose said that’s not enough.
“This is the best folks can do under the circumstances, and we’re grateful for it, but at the same time, we really need a permanent, open FSA, to help customers through this.”
Then there’s delays to the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, thanks to the shutdown. Marc Kinsley, Farm Credit CEO of AgCountry based in Fargo, ND, said delays with the Farm Bill hurts sectors already suffering, such as dairy, looking for the new Dairy Margin Coverage Program.
“The dairy industry probably, has suffered as much as anything, just on a year-in and year-out basis, over the last three or four-years, and the quicker they can get access to that program, the better.”
Knisley added that farming is not like a factory where you can turn the lights on and off; crops have to go in the ground in a couple of months, livestock must be cared for every day, and the shutdown now means there’s NOT a “very big window” with which to work.
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