USDA to provide aid to livestock producers forced to cull

USDA to provide aid to livestock producers forced to cull

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Poultry and livestock producers who had to depopulate due to processing limitations during the pandemic may apply for financial assistance

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack said on July 13 that livestock and poultry producers who suffered losses during the pandemic due to processing limitations can apply for financial assistance.

The Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Plan (PLIP) is part of the USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Livestock and poultry producers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) from July 20 through September 17.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 authorized payments to producers for losses of livestock or poultry depopulated from March 1 through December 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access as a result of the pandemic. 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,” Vilsack said. “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.”

Throughout the pandemic, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has sought financial relief for producers who were forced to cull their animals due to processing plant slowdowns and shutdowns.

Eligibility requirements

Eligible livestock must have been depopulated from March 1 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.

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.

PLIP payments compensate participants for 80% of the loss of the eligible livestock or poultry and for the cost of depopulation and disposal based on a single payment rate per head. PLIP payments will be calculated by multiplying the number of head of eligible livestock or poultry by the payment rate per head, and then subtracting the amount of any payments the eligible livestock or poultry owner has received for disposal of the livestock or poultry under the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) or a state program. The payments will also be reduced by any Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 1 and 2) payments paid on the same inventory of swine that were depopulated.

There is no per person or legal entity payment limitation on PLIP payments. To be eligible for payments, a person or legal entity must have an average adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017 and 2018.