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Friday, October 4, 2013

How The Government Shutdown Is Hurting Farmers

Farmer Steve Henry looks at a patch of corn in Arapahoe, Neb., that failed due to drought, and will not be harvested, Sept. 12, 2012. Nationwide, farmers will be paid a record $16 billion in crop insurance claims for 2012 because of the widespread drought, a staggering amount that has critics calling for changes to what they say is an inefficient taxpayer subsidy the government cannot afford. (Nati Harnik/AP)

(Nati Harnik/AP)

Lawmakers battling over the food assistance program SNAP failed to pass a new farm bill this year, and the current one expired on Monday.

The farm bill traditionally touches on trade, rural development, loan credit, subsidies for farmers, a safety net for farmers and food for poor women and children.

With this season’s harvest underway, farmers are worried about getting crop insurance for the next cycle of planting.

Glenn Brunkow, a farmer in Westmoreland, Kansas, says the government shutdown is causing ripple effects for farming.

“I don’t know where we’re at from here,” Brunkow told Here & Now. “On top of not having a farm bill and not having crop insurance, our Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, our local offices are shutdown. We’re kind of in limbo right now.”


  • Glenn Brunkow, is a farmer in Westmoreland, Kansas. He tweets @Brunkow.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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