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National Hog Farmer, Dec. 13th, 2021 – USDA has set aside up to $50 million in pandemic assistance funds allocated under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed in March 2020 for the Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program which provides pandemic assistance to hog producers who sold hogs through a negotiated sale from April 16, 2020, through September 1, 2020, the period in which these producers faced the greatest reduction in market prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Negotiated sale, or negotiated formula sale, means a sale of hogs by a producer to a packer under which the base price for the hogs is determined by seller-buyer interaction and agreement on a delivery day. USDA is offering SMHPP as packer production was reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic due to employee illness and supply chain issues, resulting in fewer negotiated hogs being procured and subsequent lower market prices.

“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,” says 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.”

The National Pork Producers Council welcomed the assistance through the Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program

“COVID-related challenges have taken a severe financial and emotional toll on U.S. hog farmers,” says NPPC President Jen Sorenson. “SMHPP targets relief at smaller producers who suffered harm over the last year and a half. It is just the latest move by USDA toward providing relief for hog producers and preserving the highly competitive pork production system in the United States.”

Payments calculated at $54/head

Eligible hogs include hogs sold through a negotiated sale by producers between April 16, 2020, and Sept. 1, 2020. To be eligible, the producer must be a person or legal entity who has ownership in the hogs and whose production facilities are located in the United States, including U.S. territories. Contract producers, federal, state, and local governments, including public schools and packers, are not eligible for SMHPP.

SMHPP payments will be calculated by multiplying the number of heads 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.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency will accept SMHPP applications from December 15, 2021, through February 25, 2022.

Visit  https://www.farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/smhpp for a copy of the Notice of Funds Availability, information on applicant eligibility, and more information on how to apply.

Applications can be submitted to the FSA office at any USDA Service Center nationwide by mail, fax, hand delivery, or via electronic means.

To find your local FSA office, visit https://www.farmers.gov/working-with-us/service-center-locator.  Hog producers can also call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance.

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