Effects Of Shutdown Vary Across The Region

Oct 1, 2013

The effects of the government shutdown are reverberating throughout the region.

Under the shutdown, United States Department of Agriculture can’t offer grants, educational seminars, equipment rental and engineering services, according to Southeast Missouri State University agriculture professor Mike Aide. He said since the USDA can’t release economic data, farmers won’t have a market forecast.
"Without accurate data, the markets are going to have a foggy picture of how to value production," Aide said. "That will lead to either over or under-estimating of the true value, and farmers will either get under or overpaid for the product."
The Army Corps of Engineers has furloughed 80% of its workforce, but they will still perform essential duties like operating reservoirs and locks and dams, as well as emergency operations and dredging work.

The Corps’ St. Louis district spokesperson Mike Peterson said the Corps has some activities that will continue, like flood recovery. But their workforce is pretty bare bones. "It is pretty restricted to our operational folks, making sure that the river stays open and that water control operations go on and we can respond to an emergency," Peterson said.

The Army Corps has closed recreation areas like Wappapello Lake due to the shutdown.

Southeast Missouri State University director of research and grant development Diane Samuel said university researchers can continue to work on projects that are active at this point, but they won’t be able to submit new applications or have contact with anyone at federal agencies like program officers.

Samuel said the impact won’t be immediate.

"Like as of today, we’re not really feeling today an impact, but the longer it goes on, definitely things will start to affect us and our work," Samuel said.

Samuel said researchers won’t be able to submit invoices either because the government won’t be able to process payment.