FSA plans to reopen offices, add services during government shutdown

FSA logoAll Farm Service Agency offices nationwide will reopen shortly to provide additional administrative services to farmers and ranchers during the government shutdown.

The announcement by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue came after select FSA offices provided limited hours of service Jan. 17, 18 and 22. Those offices as well as others nationwide will be open beginning Jan. 24, but not all services will be offered.

In addition, Purdue has extended the deadline to apply for the Market Facilitation Program to Feb. 14. Originally, the deadline was Jan. 15.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has temporarily recalled all of the more than 9,700 FSA employees to keep offices open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays beginning Jan. 24. President Donald Trump has already signed legislation that guarantees employees will receive all backpay missed during the lapse in funding.

For the first two full weeks under this operating plan, Jan. 28-Feb. 8, FSA offices will be open Mondays through Fridays. In subsequent weeks, offices will be open three days a week: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays,if needed, to provide the additional administrative services.

Agricultural producers who have business with the agency can contact their FSA service center to make an appointment.

FSA staff will work on the following transactions:

• Market Facilitation Program.
• 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.

Transactions that will not be available include, but are not limited to:

• 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.

Updates to available services and offices will be made during the government shutdown on the FSA shutdown webpage.

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