Deadlines extended for farm programs, post-shutdown

Published 9:37 am Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Farming Services Agency was one of the many closed during the government shutdown. Now that it is open, some deadlines for services have been extended.

The shutdown began on December 22, 2018, and all Farm Service Agency workers were furloughed, local agency director Drew Roney said.

“The GS employees with our agency were non-exempt due to a lock of funding and were furloughed,” Roney said. “The CO employees were exempt due to some available funding, approximately four to six days worth. We continued to work until we were notified that this available funding had lapsed and then we were furloughed on December 28.”

GS employees are federal employees, while CO employees are employees that work at the county level for a government agency.

Roney said that on the days of January 17, 18 and 22, the Farm Service Agency Loan Offices were reopened to provide limited services.

“We were able to provide these services, new direct or facility loans, new farm loan guarantees, new marketing assistance loans, new applications for Market Facilitation Program (MFP), certification of 2018 production for MFP payments, Dairy Margin Protection Program and Disaster assistance programs, such as: Livestock Indemnity Program, Emergency Conservation Program, Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program, Livestock Forage Disaster Program, Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish,” Roney said.

While Jan. 15, 2019 had been the original deadline for producers to apply for MFP, farmers have been unable to apply since Dec. 28, 2018, when FSA offices closed because of the lapse in federal funding. 

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has extended the MFP application deadline for a period of time equal to the number of business days FSA offices were closed, once the government shutdown ended. These announced days of limited staff availability during the shutdown will not constitute days open in calculating the extension. Producers who already applied for MFP and certified their 2018 production by December 28, 2018, should have already received their payments.

Here are the extensions for different farm programs now that the government is now open:

Market Facilitation Program

▪ Deadline to apply extended to Feb. 14, 2019

Marketing Assistance Loans

▪ If loan matured in December 2018, settlement date extended to Feb. 14, 2019

▪ Peanut loans or Loan Deficiency Payments – loan availability date now Feb. 28, 2019

Emergency Conservation Program

▪ Performance reporting due Feb. 14, 2019

Livestock Forage Disaster

▪ 2018 application for payment due Feb. 28, 2019

Emergency Assistance Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program

▪ Notice of loss due Feb. 14, 2019

Livestock Indemnity Program

▪ Notice of loss due Feb. 14, 2019

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program

▪ Submitting 2019 application for coverage due Feb. 14, 2019

▪ Notice of loss for 72-hour harvest and grazing (as applicable) due Feb. 14, 2019

▪ Notice of loss for prevented planting and failed acres due Feb. 14, 2019

▪ Applications for payment for 2018 covered losses due Feb. 14, 2019

Tree Assistance Program

▪ Notice of loss due Feb. 14, 2019

Acreage Reporting

• January reporting deadlines extended to Feb. 14, 2019

Roney said that all FSA offices were reopened to provide all services on Jan. 28.