Farmers on edge with Government shutdown

Farmers on edge with Government shutdown

We're in day 13 of the government shutdown. Farmers and businesses across the country are feeling the strain because the farm bill extension has expired.
Middlebury, VT -We're in day 13 of the government shutdown.
Farmers and businesses across the country are feeling the strain because the farm bill extension has expired.
Farmers say it’s like a one two punch.
When it comes to market prices, the government shutdown left farmers in the dark and now they're worried about their financial future.
“My grandfather and his two fathers incorporated the business,” said Heather Foster-Provencher, owns Foster Brothers Farm and Vermont Natural Ag Products.
For Foster-Provencher Foster Brothers Farm is a family affair.
She's part of the fifth generation running the farm in Middlebury Vermont
“It's really neat, I actually left and came back just to be a part of that,” said Foster-Provencher.
Her father, Robert Foster is Foster Brothers Farm and Vermont Natural Ag Products.
He says the government shutdown has everyone in the dairy industry on edge.
“I'd like to be optimistic, but it’s somewhat of a challenge now,” said Foster.
With the expired Farm Bill extension comes uncertainty; farmers are in the dark as to if and when vital farm programs will be back up and running.
“We are out here without any safety net,” said Foster.
With the government shutdown comes USDA furloughs. With those people out of work, businesses and farmers can't get the weekly price reports they need. And if this goes on for an extended period of time, farmers say that could mean a large financial loss.
“You've got the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and they are still functioning. So that’s where a lot of the basic prices are, but you need to have somebody to say this is what the price will be,” said Foster.
And without knowing the market price of agricultural products such as milk, farmers could lose out in the long run.
“2% of overproduction can amount to as much as 40% drop in price,” said Foster. 
Foster says he's thankful Vermont’s legislature has been fighting for the farmers; but there's more that needs to be done.
And late last week Senator Patrick Leahy continued fighting when he urged the Senate to end the shutdown and stop hurting America’s farmers.
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