Ag: USDA leader mad about Farm Bill indecision

A government shutdown figures to hit the USDA hard.

DTN says a high percentage of department workers will be furloughed until an agreement is reached. Also, USDA reports will not be issued and all Farm Service Agency offices are closed save for emergency or disaster response.

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Congressional inaction on an overall budget means no decision on a Farm Bill. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack questioned the government's commitment to rural America with its failure to act.

"You do have to begin questioning whether it's a priority or not, and it should be a priority. It's not just important to rural America. It's important to all America," he said recently.

The USDA says inspections will continue and loans will continue to be monitored. The SNAP, or food stamp, program will be funded through this month but no additional federal funds are coming to the Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, program.

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