In response to the partial government shutdown, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has extended the deadline for U.S. producers to apply for payments from the Market Facilitation Program.
The program is part of the trade mitigation program operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to give relief to producers hurt by retaliatory tariffs several countries imposed on U.S. agricultural exports following President Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
Growers of fresh cherries, shelled almonds, soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy, and hogs are eligible for the program.
The original deadline for application was Jan. 15, but Perdue said the deadline will be extended one day for each day that USDA Farm Service Agency offices were closed because of the government shutdown. The USDA FSA offices were closed Dec. 28 — about a week after the government shutdown began — and it is not known when the partial government shutdown will end and the FSA offices will be reopened.
“I continue to urge members of Congress to redouble their efforts to pass an appropriations bill that President Trump will sign and end the lapse in funding so that we may again provide full services to our farmers and ranchers,” Perdue said in the release.