The trade battle is carrying over into 2019. There is no way around this fact. As much as we are ready for 2018 to be over, some things are coming into the new year with us. One of the programs meant to help assist farmers through the tough times was the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). The government shutdown has thrown a monkey wrench into the program.
More after this
If you signed your papers for the MFP program already, you can disregard the rest of this message. You are already good. You already received your first round of payments and your second round should be in the mail if you haven’t received it already.
As for the rest of you…
You cannot say you were not warned. Two weeks ago, we talked with Iowa State FSA director Amanda DeJong. She stressed the importance of getting in right away to sign up for the program because the future was very uncertain. If you didn’t catch that program, I will replay the important message.
The deadline for signing up is January 15th. The deadline was hard and fast last fall already. However, the government shutdown in Washington is meaning that agencies aren’t funded to be operating right now. This includes the FSA offices. The deadline to sign up for anything was Friday, December 28th.
So, what happens now? There is a deadline, and you cannot get signed up.
This is not official yet, but the government may investigate extending the deadline once it opens for business again. Of course, nobody knows when that is going to be because Republicans and Democrats cannot get together on a spending bill. President Trump made good on his promise not to approve any spending bill without border wall funding, and Democrats who will now take control of the House have said there won’t be any wall funding coming from them.
As usual, farmers are finding themselves caught in the middle of political bickering. It seems like we just finished that with the passage of the Farm Bill. A bill which was supposed to provide certainty for farmers from a government which is shut down and will not be implementing it.