Shutdown Hitting Farmers and Ranchers - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Shutdown Hitting Farmers and Ranchers

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With the shutdown continuing, farmers and ranchers will start to feel more effects.

The USDA does not have employees at the major auction markets to document prices for livestock being sold. This helps producers to know when to sell and for how much. Economists say, even when the furloughs end, the data won't be restored.

"Some of those things will just go back to normal operating procedure and some things will never fill back in, so for example, the USDA AMS employee was not at the Joplin market for a couple weeks. I can't undo that, so we're going to have those data gaps. The longer the shutdown, the longer the gaps, the bigger of a problem it creates," says Glynn Tonsor, Kansas State Agricultural Economist.

Other effects are assistance for farmers and ranchers after a natural disaster. If they lose crops or livestock, they cannot apply until the shutdown is over to offset some of those losses.