Some farmers worried problems may grow after shutdown ends


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky.- The reason Anthony Manning's tractor was not in the field Wednesday is because of the weather. He said it's the Federal Government's fault the rest of his farm isn't functioning as usual.

"The weather websites have been down. There's a website with yields across the nation. They've been down," Manning said. "There's just no information to go on."

He was supposed to get a federal check issued to him at the beginning of the month, but that hasn't come yet, either. He said it's a bad feeling.

"You don't know what to do. The markets kind of dead right now," he said.

Although it has dropped slightly, the market values of crops have remained relatively steady, which may not be a good thing for farmers this year.

"It's a crucial time," he said. "Due to last year and the drought a lot of farmers didn't contract their crops early so a lot of people are selling as they go across the scales. If you didn't contract early you're probably getting a lower price."

Plus, there's growing concern that even when the government shutdown ends, the drop in crop prices won't. 

"The grain market could take a nose dive at that point," Manning said. He added that it's probably because this years yields are higher than they have been in years and so as supply goes up, demand goes down.

Then there's the Farm Bill, which is still expired. Manning said that is the biggest piece to the puzzle to a farmer's piece of mind. President Obama mentioned in his remarks Wednesday night that the Farm Bill must be addressed in the near future.