Ag Policy Blog

USDA Details Shutdown Contingency Plan

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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USDA on Friday evening released an agency-by-agency summary of contingency plans in the event of a government shutdown.

In mid-evening, the clock was ticking with Senate vote set up for 10 p.m. Eastern time to see if the federal government will keep operating after midnight.

Some of the biggest risks for farmers would be finishing up or closing a loan tied to direct USDA funding or a loan guarantee. Loans would start to get processed again once funding is established, but farm programs and loan activities would be put on hold.

The same goes for loans under agencies such as USDA Rural Development. Borrowers would not be able to secure loans or make payments. "The unavailability of servicing actions not deemed excepted could have a negative impact on the financial stability of customers and mortgage lenders' financial operations.

After coming in to secure their work areas, 10,700 or so of Farm Service Agency employees will be furloughed while roughly 182 would remain on staff in various positions.

At the Food Safety and Inspection Service, inspection will continue for meat, poultry and eggs.

The U.S. Forest Service has 37,345 employees of which about 23,590 employees will face furlough.

At the Agricultural Marketing Service, the Market News, National Organic Program, and marketing agreement and orders such as the checkoffs, would be among those programs stopped.

USDA has a website to inform employees of the department's operating status:…

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