Farm Service Agency offices were to be closed during the shutdown. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday that the USDA has called back 2,500 furloughed workers to temporarily provide limited financial services for farmers and ranchers affected by the government shutdown.

The big picture: About half of all Farm Service Agency offices will be reopened Jan. 17, 18 and 22 to provide services for agricultural producers with existing farm loans, expiring financing statements and unprocessed payments made on or before Dec. 31. Perdue told Fox Business Monday that even though the agency is working to get staffers back on a temporary basis, he thinks "the shutdown needs to end" to curtail farmers' hardship.

Go deeper: All the ways Americans are feeling the effects of the shutdown:

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden has huge cash advantage over Trump as Election Day nears

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had $177.3 million in the bank at the end of September, per the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

Why it matters: President Trump's re-election campaign reported having $63.1 million in the bank at the end of last month, as campaigning enters the final stretch ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3.

Court allows North Carolina mail-in ballots deadline extension

An absentee ballot election worker stuffs ballot applications at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections office in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

North Carolina can accept absentee ballots that are postmarked Nov. 3, Election Day, until Nov. 12, a federal appeals court decided Tuesday in a 12-3 majority ruling.

Why it matters: The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling against state and national Republican leaders settles a lawsuit brought by a group representing retirees, and it could see scores of additional votes counted in the key battleground state.