Farming During a Government Shutdown

S.D.-It’s the 20th day of the partial government shutdown and many people across the US are feeling the effects. Kdlt’s Miranda Paige checks in with some South Dakota farmers to see how the shutdown is impacting them.

This is not the first government shutdown former South Dakota Secretary of Ag. and 4th generation farmer Walt Bones has been through. He says it can and is causing some uncertainty.

“We just got the farm bill passed and the president signed it. The folks that implement those programs aren’t working,” said Bones.

However, he is staying positive.

“To be a farmer you have to be an eternal optimist,” said Bones.

Fortunately this time of year is slower for farmers, so he says most growers aren’t directly affected.

However, farmers who rely on low interest loans are being impacted right now as the US Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency or FSA is closed. It could also affect farmers who have yet to apply for the government market facilitation program that was created to help farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs. The deadline to apply was January 15th, but will be extended due to the shutdown. That means those farmers will have to wait for those funds.

Emery Farmer Scott Stahl hopes the government comes to an agreement soon.

“We certainly want to see the shutdown resolved so you know things can go smoothly in transition to E15 year round across the United States,” said Stahl.

Stahl believes the longer the shutdown goes on the more nervous farmers will get.

“What we don’t want to see is the shutdown extending closer to planting getting into that March time frame.That’s when crop insurance discovery is,” said Stahl.

Bones agrees.

“You’re making huge decisions when it comes time to put a crop in the ground. That’s a lot of dollars. And so are we going to do corn or soybeans? You know it might depend on what the safety net programs are,” said Bones.

For now farmers are just hoping the shutdown ends soon.

The shutdown could end if the president goes another direction. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says it’s time for President Trump to invoke emergency powers to build the border wall without congressional approval.

Categories: Agriculture, Local News, News, U.S. & World News