The USDA announced earlier this week that the deadline for farmers to sign up for the Market Facilitation Program that was January 15, 2019 has been extended. Remember the Market Facilitation Program was announced as a way to get direct payments to farmers hurt in the trade war with China and to a lesser extent Mexico and Canada. "The deadline will be delayed for the number of business days that USDA offices are closed" because of the partial Government shutdown.

Many farmers have signed up for the Market Facilitation Program and received both payments before County FSA offices closed December 28, 2018 when they ran out of funding. Some farmers were waiting to sign up until after the New Year because they wanted the income in 2019 instead of 2018. They have not been able to sign up and will not be able to until the partial Government shutdown ends. It sure seemed like the USDA would extend the deadline to sign up but it is nice to have the official announcement too!