first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest With the government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has closed Farm Service Agency county offices across the country.The county offices were among the last on the list to close. FSA was operating on funds they had stored up through Dec. 28, but those funds ran dry. The closure comes at a busy time with the recent announcement of Trade Mitigation Payments round two. Producers who have certified 2018 production are expected to still receive Market Facilitation Program payments. Those who haven’t certified 2018 acres will have to wait until the shutdown is over.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. Official signup for the program was scheduled to end on Jan. 15. Farmers can certify their 2018 production until May 1.Not all USDA services are on shutdown. Several essential elements of USDA continue even without the government being fully operational. Continuing services include meat, processed egg, and poultry inspection services. Also SNAP benefits are still going out to eligible households in January.“There may be a lapse in funding for the federal government, but that will not relieve USDA of its responsibilities for safeguarding life and property through the critical services we provide,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Our employees work hard every day to benefit our customers and the farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers who depend on our programs. During a shutdown, we will leverage our existing resources as best we can to continue to provide the top-notch service people expect.”Some USDA activities will be shut down or significantly reduced and some USDA employees will be furloughed. However, certain USDA activities would continue because they are related to law enforcement, the protection of life and property, or are financed through available funding (such as through mandatory appropriations, multi-year discretionary funding, or user fees). For the first week of a shutdown, 61% of employees would either be exempted or excepted from shutdown activities. If the shutdown continues, this percentage would decrease, and activities would be reduced as available funding decreases.For more information, please view a summary of USDA’s shutdown plans (PDF, 75.2 KB). In addition, here a list of shutdown plans by USDA agency and office. Note that the National Finance Center information can be found on pages 7 to 9 of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) document on that page.last_img

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