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Government furlough and impact on Farm Service Agency in Minnesota

Government furlough and impact on Farm Service Agency in Minnesota

County FSA offices will be open today, December 26 through Friday, December 29. County office staff will be able to conduct normal business this week (e.g. MFP sign-up, delivering 2nd round MFP payment, accept loan applications, accept loan payments, etc.) If funding is not restored, County office staff will be furloughed starting next week.

  • Potential issues/watch outs
    1. If farmers come in the office this week to take out a Marketing Assistance Loan, they will likely NOT get funds dispersed before end of week.
    2. If farmers have a current Marketing Assistance Loan (grain under loan) and they wish to market the grain in the coming weeks and the county office is closed and not able to obtain a marketing authorization, farmers will still be able to sell grain. However, the farmer should communicate with county office staff immediately once county office staff return to work informing them about bushels hauled and sold.

While County FSA offices will be open this week, Farm Loan Staff will NOT be on the job, as they have been furloughed. Therefore, we are unable to take or process any direct or guaranteed loans.

  • If you are wondering about the differentiation in employees, it is due to carry over funds that are available in our budget, and that we have two classifications of employees (GS employees are farm loan employees, and CO employees are county office employees). The agency had more carry over funds available for CO employees, hence they will remain on the job this week, unlike the GS employees.
  • Farm Loan Payments: While county offices are open, farmers can drop off any farm loan payments and county office staff will accept those payments. If CO employees are furloughed and offices are closed, and farmers want to make a farm loan payment that is credited in tax year 2018, the check or money order should be post marked no later than December 31, 2018 and checks or money orders should be mailed to the local FSA County Office.
  • Security Releases
    • Due to farm loan staff being furloughed, security interests will not be able to be released until staff are back on the job.

Here is a link detailing the status of other operations within USDA

https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2018/12/21/secretary-perdue-details-usda-functions-event-lapse-federal-funding

Source: USDA