Local AG industry starting to feel the government shutdown impacts

Farmers are slowly starting to feel the strain of the government shutdown weigh on them.

Posted: Jan 15, 2019 2:38 PM
Updated: Jan 16, 2019 6:16 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (FOX 55) - Some say that farmers are the backbone of America, breaking their backs everyday to help feed the world. However, with the government shutdown, the local AG industry is starting to feel the strain.

The USDA is part of those government offices closed, meaning farmers like David Barcus from Wells County, IN, is having to play the waiting game.

"USDA office isn’t open. There’s some unfinished business and before I report to my insurance, which is through Silvus. I wanted to have all my paperwork done and finished and I started the process, and I’m just waiting for them to re-open," Barcus said.

Mark Carter from the Purdue Extension Office, who's also the Precision AG Educator throughout Indiana, says it’s not just the paperwork that’s in limbo.

Carter said, "Farm Service Agency is part of the USDA. They’re kind of the ones who are the boots on the ground to bring the farm bill to producers and by having their office closed they’re unable to work with producers on signing up for new farm bill programs."

One of the incentives of the Farm Bill allows farmers to get a better price for their commodities, but some haven’t been able to sign up.

"The commodity prices are everything for a farmer," Carter said.

And with the introduction of technology into farming, people can’t get their drone licenses to help inspect fields.

Barcus’ wallet isn’t being squeezed just yet, but knows it’s time for President Trump and Democrats to come to an agreement.

Barcus, said "the government shutdown I know affects a lot of families. There’s a time where they’re going to have to meet in the middle of the road."

No matter which way it goes though, Carter says farmers will be alright in the end, saying "The farmer’s going to find a way to survive. I mean, that’s the way they’ve always done it. They got through hard years during the depression and they got through flat prices in the 80s. They find a way to survive."

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