When ABC Action News could find no one at the USDA's San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center in Parlier for comment on the federal government shutdown, reporter Brian Johnson turned to Jeff Dahlberg, director of the UC Kearney Research and Extension Center, which is located across the street.
USDA's ag research facility moved to the Parlier location from Fresno in 2000 to enable collaboration between the two organizations, which work together closely to improve California agricultural production and minimize its environmental impacts.
However, due to the shutdown, virtually all communication has stopped.
Dahlberg said he believes a few USDA employees are still allowed on site for some basic maintenance, such as keeping plants and insects alive. Other important tasks, like irrigation and pruning, have been delayed.
"I don't know what kind of impact this is going to have on them but I would have to venture to guess that it's going to set them back potentially for a year, because they could have lost some really important experiments right now," Dahlberg said.