USDA offering more pandemic aid to swine producers
Today the USDA opened applications for the Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program (SMHPP) aimed to address gaps in previous assistance for swine producers.
Eligible producers are those who sold hogs through a negotiated sale from April 16th through September 1st of 2020. During this time, packer production was reduced because of COVID-19 related employee illness and supply chain issues resulting in lower market prices and fewer negotiated hogs being accepted.
Farm Service Agency administrator Zach Ducheneaux says previous assistance programs used flat rates across the hog industry, while SMHPP payments will be calculated at $54 per head of eligible hogs, up to 10,000 head. He says $50 million is earmarked for the program though the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act.
Payments will be issues as applications are received and approved. Applications are due by February 25th.