Farm impacts continue under government shutdown

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Published Friday, January 4, 2019
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by Chris Sorensen

United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency county offices have remained closed since December 28 when funding ran out following a partial shutdown of federal government agencies. The shutdown continues, with no estimate when Congress and President Donald Trump could reach an agreement that will restore funds to agencies.

Impacts to USDA Programs and Services

Market Facilitation Program payments for producers who have already certified production with the Farm Service Agency are continuing beyond January 1, 2019. Signup for the program is set to end January 15, however USDA Secretary Sonny Purdue will determine if an extension is needed.

Commodity loan program activity ceased January 3, and access to FSA automated system was also suspended. Systems impacted include the Commodity Loan Processing System, Cotton Online Processing System, Automated Cotton Reporting System and Centralized Cotton Redemption.

Farm-stored commodities pledged as collateral to the Commodity Credit Corporation can be sold or fed. Loan repayments, loan disbursement, refunds, and terminations of transfers will not be processed during the shutdown. Moving collateral does not require prior written approval, however the producer must request a CCC-681-1 Marketing Authorization the next business day when services resume.

Payments for Farm Loan and Farm Storage and Facility Loan programs can be mailed to a local FSA office, however they will not be credited until after the shutdown ends. Payments will be credited based on the postmark. Loans will not be considered delinquent if the borrower cannot make a payment while offices are closed due to the shutdown.