The list keeps growing. Farmers and other agriculture entities, from grain dealers to seed companies to equipment manufacturers and anyone else who earns a living from farm and ranch-related business, can no longer rely on the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and other government crop reporting and tracking agencies to provide the data necessary to make decisions on how to sell the crop coming out of the fields and how to plan for the next one.
All this because of the government shutdown.
Farm Service Agency (FSA) personnel are on furlough, so farmers and ranchers can’t get answers to questions they have about programs, loans and services. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) workforce is also on forced hiatus, leaving landowners with questions on conservation projects or needing help to complete projects without that valuable assistance.
And just this week, partly because of the NASS furloughs, the weekly Texas Crop and Weather Report, an informative update on weather conditions, crop outlooks, and other issues that affect the vital agriculture industry in every part of the state, is not available until the standoff ends.
A brief notice from Robert Burns, who pulls the information together every week for Texas AgriLife, explained the cancellation:
“Due to the lapse in federal government funding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistic Service, commonly known as NASS, there will not be a Texas crop and weather report this week.
“No Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel positions have been furloughed. However, the weekly crop and weather report is jointly prepared by NASS and AgriLife Extension.
“When funding is restored to NASS, the weekly report will resume. We regret the inconvenience. For other stories about Texas A&M AgriLife, see http://today.agrilife.org.”
Farmers, ranchers, and others may be, in some cases, making decisions without all the information they need.
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