Hoeven: USDA to Ensure Producers Have Access to Essential FSA Services, Including FSA Loans and Market Facilitation Program During Partial Shutdown

As Chair of Ag Approps, Senator Worked with Secretary Perdue to Help Reopen FSA

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will bring back Farm Service Agency (FSA) staff to process new FSA direct and guaranteed operating loans, Marketing Assistance Loans and to administer the Market Facilitation Payment program. FSA will also administer the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Programs, along with other important agriculture programs, while negotiations continue to fund border security and the remaining 25 percent of the federal government. As chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven spoke today with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, who outlined USDA’s efforts to mitigate impacts on producers. 

“We appreciate Secretary Perdue’s commitment to our nation’s farmers and ranchers and his efforts to ensure they have access to essential services, like FSA loans and the Market Facilitation Program,” said Hoeven. “While we are hopeful that Congress will pass the plan outlined by the President this weekend that funds strong border security and reopens the government, USDA has a good plan in place to ensure our producers have access to important FSA loan programs and other essential services. A good example is the Marketing Assistance loans, which are very important to our producers, particularly sugar beet farmers in the Red River Valley.” 

Earlier this month, the senator spoke with Secretary Perdue to outline the importance of USDA’s loan programs and urged him to mitigate impacts on the state’s farmers and ranchers during the partial government shutdown. Last week, USDA announced that it would open many FSA offices on a temporary basis. 

Today, USDA announced that FSA staff that have already been made available to help process producers’ 1099 information will be available tomorrow. Beginning on Thursday, January 24, all remaining FSA staff will return to work. During the weeks beginning on January 28 and February 4, FSA will operate five days per week. In the following weeks, FSA staff will be available Tuesday – Thursday, if the partial shutdown continues.

Specifically, FSA staff will be available to: 

  • Process new direct and guaranteed operating loans
  • Issue warehouse receipts for existing Marketing Assistance loans 
  • Process new Marketing Assistance loans
  • Accept application and process payments for the Market Facilitation Program. The signup deadline is also delayed until Feb 14.
  • Administer ARC/PLC programs
  • Administer Dairy Margin Protection Program
  • Administer the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)
  • Administer the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFDP)
  • Administer the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP)
  • Administer the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
  • Administer the Sugar Price Support Loan Program