Farmers who haven’t yet applied for Market Facilitation Program payments will be given more time to apply because of the federal government shutdown.
The original deadline was Jan. 15, 2019, but farmers have been unable to apply for the program since Farm Service Agency offices closed on Dec. 28, 2018, due to a lapse in funding caused by the federal government shutdown.
“We will therefore extend the application deadline for a period of time equal to the number of business days FSA offices were closed, once the government shutdown ends,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “Farmers who have already applied for the program and certified their 2018 production have continued to receive payments.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, welcomed the announcement, saying his office has been in contact with USDA about extending the deadline.
“Farmers who haven’t been able to apply for trade assistance would’ve missed the deadline through no fault of their own,” Grassley said. “It’s worth recognizing that farmers applying for assistance in the first place are hurting because of a trade war they didn’t start.”