Farmers impacted by the U.S. trade war with China will still be able to apply for federal aid through the Market Facilitation Program.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the deadline to apply has been extended to February 14, nearly a month past the original deadline. He adds that other program deadlines may also be modified.
In addition, Perdue announced all Farm Service Agency offices will reopen this week, starting January 24th, and be able to work on more for U.S. producers. Offices will help them with disaster assistance, crop insurance programs, farm assistance programs, loans, and existing conservation contracts.
Perdue in a statement says, “The FSA provides vital support for farmers and ranchers and they count on those services being available. We want to offer as much assistance as possible until the partial government shutdown is resolved.”
For the first two weeks under this plan, FSA offices will be open Monday through Friday. After that, offices will be open three days a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
President of the American Farm Bureau Federation Zippy Duvall says planting time for many farmers is near, “The announcement that the Agriculture Department will re-open all Farm Service Agency offices for many vital services is welcome news. The reopening means FSA will once again provide much-needed operating loans, crop insurance, crop disaster assistance and more."
President of the National Farmers Union Roger Johnson says, "NFU is appreciative of the efforts of Secretary Sonny Perdue, Under Secretary Bill Northey and others at the USDA—particularly those working without a paycheck—who are working to restore as many services as possible for farmers during the shutdown."