Government Shutdown Could Force USDA To Extend MFP Deadline

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Partial government shutdown could impact issuance of some MFP payments and force USDA to extend its January deadline. ( MGN )

As the partial government shutdown enters day six, the majority of USDA isn't disrupted yet. If the standoff between the White House and Congress persists, it could impact the timing of the tariff aid relief from USDA.

FSA County offices remain open, but only through Friday. That’s when funds appropriated in prior years will run out. Farm Journal Washington Correspondent Jim Wiesemeyer said if the shutdown lasts into next week, it could have an impact on a portion of the market facilitation program (MFP) payments.

“If the partial government shutdown goes into next week, that would negatively impact the issuance of the market facilitation program payments, those are the tariff aid of relief payments that are top-heavy for the soybean producers,” said Wiesemeyer. “If that's the case, I can easily predict for you that they'll have to extend the deadline for the application for those payments which is now January the 15th. That would be one consequences of any stoppage of those payments."

Other than a potential delay in the MFP payments for some producers, Wiesemeyer says some major repots could be disrupted if the shutdown continues.

“The first few days of the government shutdown, you are not going to see much impact on USDA, because about a little over 60% of the department has residual funds that will keep them working,” said Wiesemeyer. “If the partial government shutdown continues into next week, USDA would not issue some major reports, such as the daily export sales. So, it will have an impact on agricultural data.”

Wiesemeyer said thanks to prior legislation, spot markets and contract markets for mandatory price reporting or the meat sector will continue