The U.S. Department of Agriculture is increasing the amount of funding available for the Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program and expects to issue approximately $62.8 million in pandemic assistance payments to hog producers.
The program assists eligible producers who sold hogs through a spot market sale from April 16 through Sept. 1, 2020. USDA’s Farm Service Agency accepted applications through April 29 of this year.
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 originally planned to apply a payment factor if calculated payments exceeded the allocated $50 million in pandemic assistance funds for SMHPP. Payments are not expected to be factored due to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s decision to increase funding enabling producers to receive 100% of the calculated SMHPP payment.
There is no per person or legal entity payment limitation on SMHPP payments.
USDA offered SMHPP in response to a reduction in packer production due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in fewer negotiated hogs being procured and subsequent lower market prices. The program is part of USDA’s broader Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative and addresses gaps in previous assistance for hog producers.