FSA County Offices Open Through Friday

After Friday, FSA Offices to Close Until Agreement Reached to End Shutdown

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
Farm Service Agency offices have stayed open during the government shutdown using money appropriated in prior years that can be carried forward. (Logo courtesy of the Farm Service Agency)

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Despite a partial government shutdown that includes Agriculture Department offices, Farm Service Agency county offices remain open through Friday.

The FSA offices are staying open using money appropriated in prior years that can be carried forward. FSA can continue to serve customers until that money is used up.

FSA county offices are accepting applications for the Market Facilitation Program that makes payments to farmers in reaction to the retaliatory tariffs that have led to reductions in U.S. farm exports. Farmers do not need to have finished harvest to sign up, and have until May 1 to certify production.

FSA noted that the signup for the MFP ends on Jan. 15.

After Friday, it appears that FSA county offices will be closed until Congress and the Trump administration reach an agreement to end the shutdown.

FSA urged farmers to call their local office to make sure it is open before making the trip. Farm loan services will be limited, FSA said.

RESOLUTION TO SHUTDOWN UNLIKELY BEFORE JANUARY

Although both the House and the Senate were technically in session Thursday, House members have been advised there will be no votes this week, which makes it unlikely there will be any resolution to the government shutdown before the current Congress goes out of office and the Democrats take over the House on Thursday, Jan. 3.

The Senate will convene for a pro forma session only on Monday, Dec. 31, and will next convene at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2, to resume consideration of the House Message to Accompany H.R. 695, the legislative vehicle for the continuing resolution.

The Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are all reduced to essential services, but the Farm Credit Administration is open for business because it is funded through fees rather than taxpayer funds.

(AG)

Jerry Hagstrom