Cotton farmer Charles Parker examines his fields in Senath. | Liying Qian/Missouri Business Alert

Shutdown Roundup: Farmers miss federal loans, reports



The partial federal government shutdown, now the longest in U.S. history, is in its fourth week with no clear end in sight. President Donald Trump is still fighting to see his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall become a reality, while more than 800,000 federal employees are furloughed or working without pay.

Here’s a look at some of the ways Missourians are being affected by the partial shutdown:

Agriculture adjustments

Missouri farmers are dealing with cash-flow issues due to the shutdown, the Southeast Missourian reports. All Federal Farm Service Agency offices have been closed since the shutdown began, preventing farmers from taking out Commodity Credit Corp. loans.

Cotton growers in the state rely on these loans to make it through the start of the growing season, Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst told the Southeast Missourian.

Additionally, monthly agriculture reports being suspended during the shutdown hurts farmers, Hurst said, making it difficult for them to decide on the quantity of crops they want to plant.

Federal employees offered no-interest loans

Federal employees in the Ozarks affected by the partial shutdown can apply for no-interest loans of up to $1,500, thanks to a partnership of Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Multipli Credit Union, the Springfield News Leader reports.

Affected federal employees who live or work in seven southwest Missouri counties are eligible for the program. 

Superfund site cleanup suspended

All federal cleanups at Superfund sites have been suspended because of the partial shutdown, the Associated Press reports.

Superfund sites are locations contaminated by hazardous waste that have been targeted for cleanup by the Environmental Protection Agency. Missouri has 39 Superfund sites.

Across the nation, the shutdown has added to feelings of distrust and resentment already harbored by residents near these toxic sites.

Food stamps arrive early

Recipients of benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will receive their February benefits weeks earlier than normal due to the partial shutdown, KSMU reports. If the shutdown continues to drag on, money to fund SNAP is not guaranteed.

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