Pandemic hog payments to increase
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many hog ranchers to sell their pigs on the spot market, costing them profits. A U.S. Department of Agriculture program is working to bridge the gap to ensure a healthy pork industry.
COURTESY PHOTO/MARK STEBNICKI
Staff Report | July 28, 2022 3:59 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week it is increasing the amount of money in the department’s Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program and expects to make a total of $62.8 million in COVID-19-related pandemic assistance payments to U.S. hog farmers beginning this week, according to a USDA press release.
The program was designed to help hog farmers who sold pigs on the spot market from April 16, 2020, through Sept. 1, 2020. The Farm Service Agency will pay qualifying hog farmers $54 per head for up to 10,000 eligible hogs sold during the period, the press release said.
To receive payments under the program, hog farmers had to submit an application to the FSA by April 29, 2022, the press release stated.
According to the press release, FSA originally planned to limit payments to farmers and capped total program payments at $50 million. However,the press release noted USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack decided to increase the program’s funding to ensure qualifying hog farmers would receive full payment under the program.