The long-feared government shutdown kicked in, affecting millions of people.

The shutdown caused Farm Service Agency offices and Risk Management Agency offices around the country to close, and most government websites were shut down.

Food stamp benefits continue but federal funds for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will no longer be available though some states may be able to keep the program going for a little while.

Social Security payments continue through the shutdown and Congress did vote to continue to pay people in the military. However, even these payments will stop mid-month unless Congress raises the debt ceiling.

The Secretary of the Treasury says that the government will be unable to meet its financial obligations by Oct. 17.

There is so much acrimony in Washington that it is hard to see how Congress will bridge their differences and prevent even more damage to the U.S. economy.

As the government shutdown drags on, it is increasingly likely that USDA’s October Crop Production and Supply and Demand reports will be delayed – or even canceled altogether.

There was some movement on the farm bill this week, albeit relatively modest. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., re-appointed members to a hoped-for conference Committee on the Farm Bill.