Local farmers start to feel the effects of government shutdown

Local farmers start to feel the effects of government shutdown

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The government shut down is also affecting local farmers.

The USDA’s “market facilitation program” was created to pay farmers a fraction of the money they lost due to tariffs.

But because of the shutdown, farmers aren’t even seeing that money.

We spoke with one farmer who is patiently waiting for help. For years Joe Steinkamp and his family have grown corn and soybeans on more than 100 acres of land in Vanderburgh county.

With a sizable portion of their crop going to china, the federal government put the “market facilitation program” into place. To help supplement farmers incomes lost to the tariffs.

“Farmers have spent the last 40 years growing the china market” said Steinkamp.

Now with the partial government shutdown, farmers don't know when they'll get the money they were promised.

“So we’re just going to probably be waiting a little while longer before we pay some of - our bills back or we may borrow a little more money in the short term until we get our cash” said Steinkamp.

The tariffs are costing this farm $150,000.

And every day the government is shut down, is a day longer they have to wait for a fraction of that money back.

“The $1.65 for soybeans does not cover perhaps the entire hit that the soybean crop is taking from the tariffs” said Hans Schmitz.

So, they wait, and continue to work.

“We know that the market facilitation payment will come in the right time, just like the federal employees hope they will get paid when theyre done. I hope they do” said Steinkamp.

Banking on hope. And making plans for spring planting.

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