Two weeks into the government shut down, effects are beginning to become noticeable and notable across the agriculture industry.
USDA remains virtually shuttered, with only minimal staff and a website that redirects to a page explaining that the full site is unavailable due to a lack of funding. The Department is also not issuing regular reports on crop production and exports that are considered essential to the continued functioning of ag markets and to accurate business decisions by farmers and other market participants.
The House passed a bill on Monday to fund Food and Drug Administration (FDA) operations, though the Senate has refused to consider it or other such measures to fund only part of government operations.
Import and export approvals for various goods have been stopped, and negotiations with European countries on a much-anticipated trade agreement have been put on hold. There have been fears of shortages of animal vaccines because the regulatory agency that approves them before they go to the marketplace is not operational.
There are also widespread concerns about the state of weather data gathering and forecasting without government workers all on the job, and about recovery from weather-related disasters in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota and elsewhere.