BROWNVILLE, Neb. (KMTV) — A partial government shutdown is affecting farmers in the Cornhusker state. Subsidies coming to them from the president's tariff war with China are administered by the Farm Service Agency which is currently shutdown.
Now some farmers won't receive their money until the government re-opens and they can apply for these subsidies. One farmer in Brownville said if the shutdown goes on long enough money will continue to be tight for some.
Daryl Obermeyer is an ag producer and farms 950 acres of soybeans on average every year, that's upwards of three-million pounds of soybeans in his fields alone. Poultry is the number one consumer of soybean meal nationwide consuming over 60%, but they can't eat all the soybeans. That's were trade comes in. Soybeans are sold to place like China and Mexico. But with the current trade war between President Trump and China, exports are down leaving farmers out cash.
The federal government promised financial help in the form of subsidies through the Farm Service Agency. Then the government shut down, and the agency closed its doors due to a lack of funding. "Ya know there's droughts, there's floods, early freezes, I’ve been through enough that I know you have to have a little bit of money tucked away for times like this,” said Obermeyer.
He was able to harvest all his crops and apply for that aid before the shutdown. But some in the state weren't able to. “Those people that are still harvesting won't be able to apply for the tariff payment that was authorized, those that already got in and it's still gonna be processed,” said Obermeyer.
Not knowing when the money will come leaves many farmers searching for ways to make ends meet. “Those that don't store it away for bad times, ya know could be somewhat effected,” said Obermeyer. Still he is hopeful elected officials will get the government re-opened soon. “I think probably each representative or senator feels for the people within their own district, and so I think the Nebraska representatives realize what impact it has on the people in their district,” said Obermeyer.
Especially for the farmers who are struggling financially and can't turn to those they normally would for help. “People that rely on FHA for funding are probably gonna be the most effected,” said Obermeyer. Until the government re-open. If the government shutdown continues into late Spring more farmers will be affected largely due to conservation efforts.