pandemic

Pandemic Assistance Available for Livestock Producers

Dan Cattle, Livestock

pandemic

Livestock and poultry producers who suffered losses during the Covid-19 pandemic due to insufficient access to processing will soon be able to apply for assistance for those losses and the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP), a part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.

Eligible livestock must have been depopulated from March 1, 2020 through December 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access as a result of the pandemic. Livestock must have been physically located in the U.S. or a territory of the U.S. at the time of depopulation. PLIP payments will be based on 80% of the fair market value of the livestock and poultry and for the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animal. Eligible livestock and poultry include swine, chickens and turkeys, but pork producers are expected to be the primary recipients of the assistance.

“Throughout the pandemic, we learned very quickly the importance and vulnerability of the supply chain to our food supply,” said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “Many livestock producers had to make the unfortunate decision to depopulate their livestock inventory when there simply was no other option. This targeted assistance will help livestock and poultry producers that were among the hardest hit by the pandemic alleviate some financial burden from these losses.”

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USDA has also set aside up to $50 million in pandemic assistance funds to provide additional assistance for small hog producers that use the spot market or negotiate prices. Details on the additional targeted assistance are expected to be available later this summer.

Eligible livestock owners include persons or legal entities who, as of the day the eligible livestock was depopulated, had legal ownership of the livestock. Packers, live poultry dealers and contract growers are not eligible for PLIP.

Livestock and poultry producers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) July 20 through Sept. 17, 2021.