The USDA announced additional pandemic assistance to hog producers who sold hogs through a negotiated sale during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new program, the Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program (SMHPP) is part of the USDA’s larger initiative to address gaps in previous assistance for hog farmers.
USDA is offering SMHPP because packer production was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through employee illness and supply chain issues, which led to fewer negotiated hog sales and lower market prices. Producers who sold hogs between April 16, 2020 and Sept. 1, 2020 may be eligible to apply.
“Previous pandemic assistance used flat rates across the hog industry, and this didn’t take into account the various levels of harm felt by different producers,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “We worked closely with industry partners and USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service to target assistance to hog producers who were hit the hardest during the pandemic. This is one more example of our efforts to provide new, broader, and more equitable opportunities for farmers, ranchers and producers.”
The Department has set aside up to $50 million in pandemic assistance funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for SMHPP. The FSA will begin taking applications on Dec. 15.
SMHPP payments will be calculated by multiplying the number of head of eligible hogs, not to exceed 10,000 head, by the payment rate of $54 per head. FSA will issue payments to eligible hog producers as applications are received and approved.
For more information on who is eligible and how to apply, visit farmers.gov/smhpp