Govt. Shutdown Would Impact CRP Payments

by Brian Wilson
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An Iowan who had a leadership role in the Farm Service Agency a decade ago says a federal government shutdown would delay Conservation Reserve Program payments, which are issued in October. President Obama appointed John Whitaker as Iowa State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency in 2009 and Whitaker was in that role when the federal government shutdown for 16 days in October of 2013.

If Conservative Reserve Program or C-R-P payments aren’t made by October 31st, the federal government is required to pay a penalty and add interest onto those checks. Whitaker says even a week-long federal government shutdown in October would create issues with C-R-P payments.

Whitaker made his comments during an online news conference organized by the Iowa Democratic Party. Two years ago, the federal government paid 382 million dollars on C-R-P contracts that keep the land out of corn and soybean production for up to 15 years. Farm Service Agency offices will be closed if congress does not pass a spending plan for the next federal fiscal year, which begins Sunday. Whitaker says that means farmers will not be able to submit required reports to the U-S-D-A about cover crops that are being planted this fall.

Whitaker served on the Van Buren County Board of Supervisors for 10 years and seven years in the Iowa House before he was appointed to lead the Farm Service Agency operations in Iowa.

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