Shutdown Puts Ag Pricing on Hold

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The National Agriculture Statistics Service issues reports on pricing crops which suggests what  commodities to grow and when to sell. The federal shutdown has put that service on hold.

Lodi dairy farmer Hank Van Exel says as a result he may be paying higher feed prices for his cattle.

"We probably would be getting a little cheaper corn prices because it sounds like it's a bumper crop for the corn." - Hank Van Exel, Lodi dairy farmer

Van Exel says the greater concern is a pipeline he's ready to install to conserve water on his farm. He says the equipment is ready but the National Resources Conservation Service must approve it and service employees are on furlough.

"If this drags on we'll be into the wet season, what we'd like to do is put pipelines in to save some water and we won't be able to do that and that is frustrating." - Van Exel

The shutdown has also closed U.S. Department of Agriculture offices so farmers can't apply for new loans or sign up acreage for government programs.

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