USDA to Reopen all FSA Offices for Most Services During Government Shutdown
All Farm Service Agency (FSA) service centers will be open beginning January 24 to provide the majority of FSA services needed by farmers and ranchers during this critical time of the year for agricultural operations. Additionally, the limited FSA loan services initially made available at certain FSA county offices beginning January 17 will continue January 22 and 23.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recalled more than 9,700 FSA employees to keep offices open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays beginning January 24. For the first two full weeks under this operating plan (January 28 through February 1 and February 4 through February 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.
Agricultural producers who have business with the agency should contact their FSA service center to make an appointment. The deadline to apply and complete applications for the Market Facilitation Program has been extended to February 14. Other program deadlines may be modified and will be announced shortly.
FSA can provide most services as they are critical for farmers and ranchers and have mandatory program funds available. The following full-service activities will be available using the authorities prior to enactment of the 2018 farm bill:
- 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
Transactions involving the following programs will not be available:
- New Conservation Reserve Program contracts
- New Direct and Guaranteed Farm Ownership Loans
- Farm Storage Facility Loan Program
- Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP)
- Emergency Conservation Program
- Emergency Forest Rehabilitation Program
- Biomass Crop Assistance Program
- Grassroots Source Water Protection Program
Additional FSA programs may be added to those being supported at a later date. Producers should reference the FSA shutdown webpage and Jan. 22 news release for updates on services available, open offices and hours of operation during the current federal shutdown.