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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 this news release for updates on services available, open offices and hours of operation during the current federal shutdown.

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