Farm Service Agency offices are officially shut down as of the close of business on Friday, December 28th. What does that mean for the second round of Market Facilitation Payments? A DTN report says producers who have already certified their 2018 production acres with FSA will continue to get their payments.
For those who weren’t able to get the certification completed, they will have to wait until the government shutdown is over. Up until last Friday, farmers were able to apply for the payments without having finished harvest. While official signup was scheduled to end on January 15th, farmers are still able to certify their 2018 production until May 1st. USDA isn’t completely halted and several services are ongoing despite the shutdown. A USDA news release says, “Certain activities will remain ongoing because they’re related to law enforcement, protecting life and property, or financed through other funding mechanisms. If the shutdown continues, the number of employees exempted from the shutdown will decrease. As funding for certain activities lessens, those activities will decrease.”
Continuing services include meat, processed egg, and poultry inspection services. SNAP benefits are still going out to eligible households in January.