(WAND) – The U.S. government is giving farmers more time to apply for bailout money assistance.
The start of a federal government shutdown closed Farm Services Agency offices across Illinois and the nation. It’s at those officers where farmers typically go to certify their harvests, Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken told The News-Gazette, and bailout payments can’t go through until production is certified with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The bailout money, spread out from a $12 billion package, is paid out to farmers after the U.S. and China went back-and-forth in a trade war and crop prices took a hit. President Donald Trump’s administration and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue originally gave farmers until Jan. 15 to apply.
The newspaper says Perdue’s extension will move the deadline back for the same number of days as the shutdown keeps FSA officers closed. They first shut down on Dec. 28.
Farmers are having trouble in other areas as well. Reports from the National Agriculture Statistics Service have stopped coming – documents that drive commodity markets and give farmers important information about when crops should be sold and what cops they should grow. University of Illinois agronomist Todd Hubbs told The News-Gazette the reports are “pretty important” and could help crop prices if they showed less-than-expected corn and soybean harvests.
The paper says NASS reports meant for Friday are going to be pushed back, no matter what happens with the shutdown situation.