January 22, 2019

Farm Service Agency Offices Open for Additional Services during Shutdown

By: Dave Puglia

All Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices nationwide will soon reopen and offer a longer list of services to farmers and ranchers during the lapse in federal funding. The announcement was made today by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in a U.S. Department of Agriculture press release.

Beginning Thursday, January 24th, FSA offices will be open for normal hours, from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday, until February 8th. For all subsequent weeks beginning February 12th, FSA offices hours will be reduced to just three days a week – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – if needed, to provide additional administrative services.

Under this operating plan, FSA can provide the following administrative services:

  • Market Facilitation Program (The deadline to apply for the MFP, which aids farmers harmed by unjustified retaliatory tariffs, has been extended to February 14.)
  • Marketing Assistance Loans
  • Release of collateral warehouse receipts
  • Direct and Guaranteed Farm Operating Loans, and Emergency Loans
  • Service existing Conservation Reserve Program contracts
  • Sugar Price Support Loans
  • Dairy Margin Protection Program
  • Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage
  • Livestock Forage Disaster
  • Emergency Assistance Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program
  • Livestock Indemnity Program
  • Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program
  • Tree Assistance Program
  • Remaining Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program payments for applications already processed

However, the following transactions will NOT be available during the government shutdown:

  • New Conservation Reserve Program contracts
  • New Direct and Guaranteed Farm Ownership Loans
  • Farm Storage Facility Loan Program
  • New or in-process Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program applications
  • Emergency Conservation Program
  • Emergency Forest Rehabilitation Program
  • Biomass Crop Assistance Program
  • Grassroots Source Water Protection Program

For additional information on the available services during the lapse in federal funding can be found on the FSA shutdown webpage: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/help/shutdowninfo