The Department of Agriculture has extended the deadline to apply for Market Facilitation Program payments in light of the shutdown that has closed Farm Service Agency offices across the country.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue made the announcement Tuesday afternoon, saying in a release that the Jan. 15 deadline would be extended “for a period of time equal to the number of business days FSA offices were closed, once the government shutdown ends.” FSA offices remained open through close of business on Dec. 28, but have been shuttered since. During that time, many producers received MFP funds.

“Farmers who have already applied for the program and certified their 2018 production have continued to receive payments,” Perdue said. “Meanwhile, 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.”

As of today, FSA offices have been closed for six business days due to the shutdown.

MFP was part of a broader trade mitigation package that also included domestic food purchases and international market development funding. MFP is the largest part of the $12 billion package and gives funds to producers based on production levels.

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