Farmers are being hurt by the record-breaking government shutdown. It’s closed the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a moves that cuts farmer’s off from vital funding they need to continue operations.
Sammy and Jerry Wooten grow cotton and peanujts in Denton in Jeff Davis County. The cousins work two thousand acres between them, but they say they can’t access money from their last harvest, a harvest hurt by Hurricane Michael, because the Farm Service Agency where they could tap into their harvest revenues is closed. ” It’s just devastating, ya’ know? We didn’t have but a half a crop to start with and, and, now we can’t even get our money for the half a crop we did rate, gather, ya’ know. But people just got to understand they can’t get their money until we get our money,” Sammy Wooten said. His cousin Jerry adds, “We’ve used up all our equity. We borrowed money on what we did have and now we ’bout to the limit of borrowing money….uh…we need some help really and truly. The farmers, if they don’t get some help, they gonna be out,” Jerry said.
Brandon Kirkland, a farmer from nearby Broxton, says he’s waiting for crop storm damage recovery funds, but the fight in Washington over border wall funding closed his local FSA, where he could collect the recovery funds, “With it being shutdown, it’s holding up progress to get bills paid up that we owin’ right now and um we need the government to open back up,” Kirkland said. Farmers say the partial shutdown is bringing federal farm aid to a full halt and it hurts them a little more each day it continues. Right now there is no end in sight to this partial government shutdown.