The federal government shutdown will not prevent USDA from carrying out programs related to law enforcement, the protection of life and property or financed through available funding. U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said during the first week of the shutdown, 61% of USDA employees were either exempt or exceptions from the shutdown. As the shutdown continues, this percentage will decrease and activities will be diminished as available funding is reduced.
USDA will continue to provide meat and poultry inspection to processing facilities. Mandatory price reporting data will be available. Commodity purchases made by USDA as part of the trade mitigation program remain on schedule.
Other USDA activities will be shut down in an orderly fashion during the federal funding lapse. State and local Farm Service Agency offices are expected to be closed. Some direct payments, market assistance loans, market facilitation payments and disaster assistance will be discontinued during the shutdown. Ag economic reports from the National Ag Statistics Service will be suspended. Investigations of packers and auction markets related to fraudulent and anti-competitive allegations will end as part of the shutdown.