New Congress Convenes as Shutdown Delays Farm Payments

As the government shutdown continues, the Department of Agriculture and other federal departments are reaching a “breaking point,” according to Politico, as many agencies are running out of carryover funding.

Democrats who now control the House of Representatives were expected to vote on a spending package upon taking office Thursday, but the Senate isn’t expected to accept the plan. USDA has closed Farm Service Agency offices across the nation due to the shutdown.

Producers who have certified 2018 production are expected to receive Market Facilitation Program payments, the aid package designed to offset trade losses to farmers stemming from the Trump administration’s trade agenda. However, producers who have yet to certify 2018 acres will have to wait until the shutdown concludes. USDA has continued some services, included meat and commodity inspections, along with Forest Service law enforcement, some research measurements, and the continuation of SNAP benefits.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.