Exempt farm program staff from shutdowns, suggests Peterson

House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson floated a bill on Wednesday to keep local USDA offices open during any future government shutdowns. “There’s no sense not to have them working,” he said. “Couldn’t agree more,” responded Sonny Perdue.

After the shutdown, a deluge of major USDA reports on crops, ag outlook

With the shutdown behind it, the USDA will begin today to clear out a month's worth of backlogged data, including major reports that could jolt commodity markets and color farmers' decisions on crops to plant this spring. Chief economist Robert Johansson said there will be one exception — the globe-spanning WASDE report that serves as a monthly crop report for the world.

Trump tariff payment total? ‘Maybe $8 billion.’

U.S. farmers may receive noticeably less in Trump tariff payments than originally expected, a senior USDA official said on Thursday. And with no end in sight for the five-week partial government shutdown, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley told reporters that food stamps could be in jeopardy.

As it opens more operations, USDA relies on staff to work without pay

Federal meat inspectors are reporting to work without pay during the partial government shutdown, said an industry trade group on Wednesday, as the USDA called on 9,700 furloughed FSA employees to reopen offices nationwide today to serve farmers and ranchers.

USDA reopens offices in farm country, as anxiety about nutrition programs rises

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue set a new deadline of February 14 for producers to apply for Trump tariff payments, while announcing on Tuesday that USDA’s so-called county offices will be open for many, but not all, services during the partial government shutdown. Meanwhile, concern rose …

USDA opens local offices for three days to work on existing farm loans

About half of the USDA’s local offices will be open for three days, beginning Thursday, to deal with existing farm loans and provide tax documents to farmers and ranchers. USDA employees will not consider applications for new loans, the new dairy support program, disaster relief, or Trump tariff payments.

House passes USDA-FDA funding bill that GOP says is doomed by shutdown

On Thursday, in a test of partisan resolve, the Democratic-controlled House passed, on a nearly party-line vote of 243-180, a funding bill to reopen the USDA and FDA. With the exception of essential work such as meat inspection, both agencies have been shuttered since late December by the partial government shutdown.

To get around the shutdown, SNAP benefits will be paid nearly two weeks early

The Trump administration will release an estimated $4.8 billion to SNAP recipients on January 20, nearly two weeks early, to ensure they get their February food stamps despite the partial government shutdown, announced Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Tuesday. The USDA said its other public nutrition programs, including WIC, school lunch and food donations, are funded through February, alleviating concerns of hunger among millions of Americans during a protracted shutdown.

From food pantries to breweries to fisheries, the government shutdown hits

As the government shutdown enters its third week, its consequences for food producers and eaters are wide-ranging. From food pantries to breweries to farm country, the furloughing of 800,000 federal staffers is having dramatic consequences.

Producers are given more time to enroll for Trump tariff payments

With farmers locked out of USDA offices because of the partial government shutdown, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced on Tuesday that he was extending the January 15 deadline to sign up for $9.6 billion in Trump tariff payments. The extension will “equal to the number of business …