Shutdown could block federal payments to farmers

The government shutdown could complicate things for farmers lining up for federal payments to ease the burden of President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.

Posted: Dec 28, 2018 2:43 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government shutdown could complicate things for farmers lining up for federal payments to ease the burden of President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.

The USDA last week assured farmers that direct payments would keep going out during the first week of the shutdown.

But payments will soon be suspended for farmers who haven’t certified production, and they’d have to wait. Farm loans and disaster assistance would also be on hold.

USDA announced up to $12 billion in aid for farmers hit by tariffs earlier this year. The first checks went out in September.

There’s little chance of the shutdown ending soon. Trump and Congress are no closer to a deal over his demand for border wall funding, and both sides say the impasse could drag well into January.

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