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Progressives call push to change Constitution "risky," Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire; new report compares ways NY can get cleaner air, help disadvantaged communities.

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House Speaker McCarthy aims to pin a shutdown on White House border policies, President Biden joins a Detroit auto workers picket line and the Supreme Court again tells Alabama to redraw Congressional districts for Black voters.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

Government Shutdown Affects Montana Farms and Ranches

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Thursday, October 3, 2013   

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Montana farmers and ranchers are feeling the effects of the federal government shutdown. And soon, banks will feel it, too, as farmers are unable to make payments because program checks have not arrived as expected. Montana Farmers Union president Alan Merrill said farm loans, disaster assistance, conservation program payments and beginning farmer help all have been put on hold.

"When they delay things like that, it takes at least three weeks to a month to restart up the whole big engine again of the government to get those payments out," Merrill said.

All state and county Farm Service Agency offices are closed, and the website has been frozen. The Natural Resources Conservation Service, which handles some farm payment programs, is mostly closed.

Not only is crop insurance underwriting not available, but crop insurance payments are in limbo, Merrill said.

"All right now, that is serious!" he exclaimed. "It's going to be all delayed payments for the 2013 crops, whether you had hail - which we did - too much rain, too much drought. They're on delay right now."

The National Farmers Union has also confirmed that trade promotion programs have ceased.




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