USDA to reopen FSA offices during government shutdown

WASHINGTON — All Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices nationwide will soon reopen to provide additional administrative services to farmer and ranchers during the lapse in federal funding, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today, Jan. 22.

Beginning Thursday, Jan. 24, all FSA offices will reopen and offer a longer list of transactions, including:

  • 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.
  • Remaining Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program payments for applications already processed.

Certain FSA offices have been providing limited services for existing loans and tax documents since Jan. 17, and will continue to do so through Wednesday, Jan. 23.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has temporarily recalled all of the more than 9,700 FSA employees to keep offices open from 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m. weekdays from Jan. 24 through Friday, Feb. 8. For the first two full weeks under this operating plan, FSA offices will be open Monday through Friday.

President Donald Trump has already signed legislation that guarantees employees will receive all backpay missed during the lapse in funding.

Also, the deadline to apply for the Market Facilitation Program, which aids farmers harmed by unjustified retaliatory tariffs, has been extended to Thursday, Feb. 14. Other program deadlines may be modified and will be announced as they are addressed.

Updates to available services and offices will be made during the lapse in federal funding on the FSA shutdown webpage.