USDA reopens Batavia office temporarily to help farmers process payments

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 January 2019 at 9:51 am

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has temporarily reopened some Farm Service Agency offices during the government shutdown to help farmers process payments.

The FSA office in Albion remains closed, but Genesee County’s office in Batavia is open today and on Tuesday. Orleans County farmers are welcome to go there for any assistance.

The office is at 29 Liberty St., Batavia. Call (585) 343-9167 for more information. The FSA wants to help farmers close out the calendar year and process their 1099 tax forms.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that many Farm Service Agency offices will reopen temporarily in the coming days to perform certain limited services for farmers and ranchers.

FSA offices have been closed since Dec. 28 because of the lapse in federal funding. The USDA has recalled about 2,500 FSA employees to open offices yesterday, today and Tuesday during normal business hours. The offices will be closed for the federal Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday.

In almost half of FSA locations, FSA staff will be available to assist agricultural producers with existing farm loans and to ensure the agency provides 1099 tax documents to borrowers by the Internal Revenue Service’s deadline.

“Until Congress sends President Trump an appropriations bill in the form that he will sign, we are doing our best to minimize the impact of the partial federal funding lapse on America’s agricultural producers,” Perdue said in a news release. “We are bringing back part of our FSA team to help producers with existing farm loans. Meanwhile, we continue to examine our legal authorities to ensure we are providing services to our customers to the greatest extent possible during the shutdown.”

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