How the government shutdown impacts farmers

Local News

The government shutdown has continued to bring problems to numerous organizations and also farmers. 

President Trump authorized the Department of Agriculture to start sending out the second and final round of the $11 billion in payments to farmers hit hard by tariffs, a large chunk of that is going to soybean farmers.

The authorization came just before the start of the shutdown. Farmers are still able to apply for those federal funds through January 15, but when those payments will come is uncertain.

“We really don’t have an answer for that right now; we don’t know. I haven’t read a source that is super reliable one way or another saying that that’s gonna happen, but I’d say that is a big concern for many farmers,” said Sara Baudar who works with SDSU Extension.  

Many farmers also rely on reports at the beginning of the year to determine what crops they will be planting, reports not coming, during the shutdown.

“We don’t know if China is buying soybeans right now because we don’t have those export market reports,” said Baudar.

As the shutdown continues, some government departments like the USDA and FSA will soon run out of money, giving farmers even fewer places to turn. 

Elwynn Taylor is an extension climatologist. He says farmers will keep growing, regardless.

“Farmers are always concerned, always over-concerned, but they still plant and do their best so somewhere deep inside of them they have the hope and reality that in the long run, this is going to work out,” said Taylor.

Farmers KCAU 9 spoke with off-camera said they’re confident their crops and farms will be okay. 

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