7 Ways The Shutdown Affected Food & Agriculture In America
At first the government shutdown did not seem like a crisis. I mean, would the US Government really allow such potential catastrophes to occur? Well apparently the damage had been more severe than perhaps many people thought.
Those living in rural areas of the South Plains, the region in northwest Texas are eligible for zero down payment loans on homes financed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). These loans are provided to finance rural properties to families with a certain income cap who do not currently own a home. Due to the shutdown, the loan processing was put on hold lengthening the amount of time it is taking for the financing to go through for these families. It has not only affected the loan recipients but also the Mortgage Brokers and Real Estate agents facilitating the transactions. It became a full circle problem.
The government shutdown also impacted food and nutrition programs such as the pregnant mothers who are typically provided healthy food for themselves and their families. The program’s funding could have been passed to the state level however, depending on the state the funding may not have been fully there.
The concern about food inspection was also raised. With limited funding, the safety of food products was being pulled into question.
Farmers and other growers use the USDA’s website and database on a regular basis for information and expert advice. The USDA’s website was shut down as well. Farmers who receive funding for equipment and other start-ups costs were told to wait until government funding resumed. You couldn’t even access USDA information on your hardiness zone.
Additionally, the monthly crop report issued by the USDA was delayed again which influenced global commodity prices.
Corn, soybean and wheat farmers had to wait until after the shutdown ended before they received payment for their crops. This has inevitably affected their business as well given the lack of cash flow.
As the effects of the shutdown linger, more repercussions are sure to be felt in food and agriculture.
Share your opinions with us or ways you’ve noticed food and agriculture being affected.