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Local federal employees furloughed; no crop reports coming

Every week during the growing season the United States Department of Agriculture’s Ag Statistics Service puts out a report on crop conditions and soil moisture levels. In the fall, they also give a report on the status of the harvest.
But if you go to the Ag Statistics web site now you get the message: “Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available. After funding has been restored, please allow some time for this website to become available again.” In other words, the harvest could be done by the time the next report comes out.
But, at least for this past week, not much happened in the fields around Minnesota. Four days of rain brought just over half an inch of rain to the area, but it was enough to bring the harvest to a halt.
No Ag Statistics Service report is just one more of the impacts of the federal government shutdown that has been going on since Sept. 30 when Democrats and Republicans in Washington were unable to reach an agreement to continue paying for many government services. People and jobs considered “non-essential” were told to go home until the two sides can figure out a way to agree on a continuing resolution that funds government.
That may not happen until Oct. 17 or later. That date represents the second hurdle Washington faces – extending the nation’s debt limit.

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