Custer County Farm Service Agency re-opens
Custer County Farm Service Agency (FSA) executive director Malinda Freeman confirmed that the USDA service center here will re-open today. It will remain open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through Feb. 8. If needed, in subsequent weeks the office will be open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays until further notice.
The nationwide re-opening of FSA offices was announced this week by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, due to the continued partial government shutdown, to provide administrative services to farmers and ranchers during the lapse in federal funding.
In addition, the deadline for filing an application for the Market Facilitation Program, which aids farmers harmed by retaliatory tariffs, has been moved from Jan. 15 to Feb. 14. Other program deadlines may be modified but none have been announced so far.
Failure to perform certain services would harm funded programs, so President Trump has authorized FSA staff to provide some administrative services to farmers and ranchers, 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.
● 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.
● Remaining Wildfires and
Hurricanes Indemnity Program payments for applications already processed.
Transactions that will not be available include, but are not limited to:
* New Conservation Reserve Program contracts.
* New Direct and Guaranteed Farm Ownership Loans.
* Farm Storage Facility Loan Program.
* New or in-process Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program applications.
* Emergency Conservation Program.
* Biomass Crop Assistance Program.
* Grassroots Source Water Protection Program.
During the lapse in federal funding, updates to available services will be made on the FSA shutdown webpage at fsa.usda.gov/help/shutdowninfo.
Programs managed by FSA that were re-authorized by the 2018 farm bill will be available at a later date yet to be determined.