As government shutdown enters day two, agricultural association leaders brace for the effects of missing timely reports and look to get Congress back on track and address key industry issues.
The government shutdown spares only essential employees at USDA. During the shutdown, agricultural economic and statistical reports and projections will be discontinued.
Colin Woodall, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association vice president of government affairs, says the NCBA is not yet aware of the impact those missing reports will have on the marketplace, but is reassured that FSIS inspectors will remain in the packing plants, allowing those businesses to stay active.
In a weekly NCBA interview, Woodall said he was surprised by the government shutdown, citing all that’s politically at stake for both Republicans and Democrats. Despite the immediate impacts, Woodall remained focused on the long-term issues and the letdown as Congress failed to pass a new farm bill.
With the U.S. now under 1949 permanent farm legislation, the next step is three months away when subsidy prices begin to increase, starting with dairy payments. Woodall expects a new farm bill will take every minute leading up to the January 1 date to complete a new package, and remains optimistic a resolution can be completed.