The Agriculture Department is rushing to finish a new trade assistance package for farmers hurt by the ongoing trade war with China, while congressional negotiators this week look to pass a long-stalled disaster aid package before the week-long recess for Memorial Day.
Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that the White House is considering providing additional assistance to farmers to compensate them for the income they have lost from the Trump administration’s trade war with China.
Trade and farm bill implementation were hot topics at last week's Commodity Classic in Orlando, but voting delegates for major commodity groups also threw in health care and infrastructure debates for good measure.
USDA will reopen all its Farm Service Agency offices on Thursday with furloughed workers providing an expanded set of services for farmers, including processing Market Facilitation Program applications.
The Department of Agriculture will continue to accept applications for the Market Facilitation Program past Jan. 15 in light of the shutdown that has closed Farm Service Agency offices across the country.
The Agriculture Department is closing county Farm Service Agency offices after Friday and will suspend publication of some new reports and take others offline with the partial government shutdown set to drag into the new year.