Shutdown spawns vacuum in farm market information

By Roxana Hegeman

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Oct. 7 2013 7:02 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2010, file photo, combines, costing several hundred thousand dollars each, harvest a field during a corn harvesting demonstration at the Husker Harvest Days fair, in Grand Island, Neb.

Nati Harnik, File, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WICHITA, Kan. — The shutdown of the federal government is delaying crucial information farmers use to plant and market crops and postponing the payouts of subsidies to the nation's growers.

That is adding to the uncertainty among producers who depend on both the marketplace and government money.

Among the casualties of the shutdown are the reports put out by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Farmers use to help them price crops and livestock and decide what crops to grow and when to sell them.

Not only has the agency stopped putting out new reports, but all websites with past information have been taken down.

The Agriculture Department also closed its farm services offices. Now growers can't apply for loans or sign up acreages for programs. Farm subsidy checks are also not going out.

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