USDA to reopen all Farm Service Agency offices

The deadline for the Market Facilitation Program has been extended to Feb. 14

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Perdue speaking
Photo credit: USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

WASHINGTON — All Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices nationwide will reopen Jan. 24 to provide additional administrative services to farmers and ranchers during the lapse in federal funding.

Certain FSA offices have been providing limited services for existing loans and tax documents since Jan. 17, and will continue to do so through Jan. 23.

Beginning Jan. 24, however, all FSA offices will open and offer a longer list of transactions they will accommodate.

Additionally, U.S. Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the deadline to apply for the Market Facilitation Program, which aids farmers harmed by unjustified retaliatory tariffs, has been extended to Feb. 14. The original deadline had been Jan. 15.

Other program deadlines may be modified and will be announced as they are addressed.

“At President Trump’s direction, we have been working to alleviate the effects of the lapse in federal funding as best we can, and we are happy to announce the reopening of FSA offices for certain services,” Perdue said. “We want to offer as much assistance as possible until the partial government shutdown is resolved.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has temporarily recalled all of the more than 9,700 FSA employees to keep offices open from 8 am to 4:30 p.m. weekdays beginning Jan. 24.

President Trump has already signed legislation that guarantees employees will receive all back pay missed during the lapse in funding.

For the first two full weeks under this operating plan (Jan. 28 through Feb. 1 and Feb. 4-8), FSA offices will be open Mondays through Fridays.

In subsequent weeks, offices will be open three days a week, on 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.

Not all FSA services

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.

Programs managed by FSA that were re-authorized by the 2018 farm bill will be available at a later date yet to be determined.

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