Farm bill passage in late 2018 was thought to provide certainty to U.S. agriculture moving forward. However, 2019 started with perhaps more uncertainty than ever before.
The government shutdown has U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency offices across the nation closed, just as farmers are seeking advice for the upcoming planting season. Meanwhile, the farm bill, which provides critical programs, promotion and research for agriculture, will be delayed in implementation as the bulk of federal agencies, such as USDA, are unfunded and closed.
Adding more fuel to the uncertainty fire, on Friday the USDA officially suspended this week’s World Agriculture Supply and Demand Report, along with Grain Stocks, Rice Stocks, Winter Wheat and Canola Seedings, and Cotton Ginnings reports, all of which were scheduled for Jan. 11. The federal agency says the date of all USDA National Ag Statistics Service reports and World Ag Outlook Board reports will be determined and made public once funding has been restored.
Source: National Association of Farm Broadcasters