By Justin Walker
Communications Specialist

Deadlines have been extended for many of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs to account for the recent government shutdown.

Most of the deadlines have been extended to Feb. 14 to allow eligible farmers and ranchers more time to sign up for programs, including the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said.

“There are several different programs that, to be able to qualify for losses that occurred in 2018, either folks need to turn in information by the end of January or a deadline around that time,” Northey said. “We have created some extensions for folks to be able to make applications.”

The programs receiving extensions include the Livestock Indemnity Program, Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program and the Emergency Conservation Program.

Other programs, such as the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, have been extended until Feb. 28.

FSA previously announced an extension for MPF due to the shutdown. MFP assistance is designed to provide payments to almond, corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, fresh sweet cherry and wheat growers.

Roughly two thirds of farmers and ranchers eligible for MFP assistance received both rounds of payments prior to the shutdown, Northey said.

Local FSA offices reopened Jan. 24 with limited services and began all operations on Jan. 28 following the temporary reopening of the federal government.

“It’s really nice to have people up and going,” Northey said.