There has been some confusion, but USDA service centers remain open. 

“They’re open, but not open for regular business,” State Conservationist Ivan Dozier said during a visit this week with RFD Radio. “And when I say open, that means our employees are there working, but the doors are locked so that’s just basically to control the walk-in traffic.”

Appointments can still be made by calling the respective office.

“There will be a little bit of screening and you can still come in and we’ll try to keep some distance,” Dozier said. “We can still go out and do some of the conservation planning, but the most important thing is we’re still there and we’re making the farm program payments.”

Applications are still being accepted for conservation programs.

“We’re just limiting the personnel contact with the public,” he said.

As for extending sign-up deadlines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that issue is unclear at this time.

“Right now there haven’t been any announcements for formal extensions,” Dozier said. “I would be really surprised if we don’t see some kind of adjustments, but for now everything is in place.”