WASHINGTON — Livestock and poultry producers who suffered losses during the pandemic due to insufficient access to processing can apply for assistance for those losses and the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animals.

Livestock and poultry producers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency from Tuesday, July 20, through Sept. 17.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack announced the Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program at the National Pork Industry Conference in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. The announcement is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.

Eligible livestock and poultry producers can apply for the program starting July 20 by completing the FSA-620, Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program application, and submitting it to any FSA county office. Additional documentation may be required. Visit farmers.gov/plip for a copy of the Notice of Funding Availability 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 a local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator. Livestock and poultry producers can also call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance.

As USDA looks to long-term solutions to build back a better food system, the department is committed to delivering financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers and businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19 market disruptions. Since USDA rolled out the Pandemic Assistance initiative in March, the department has announced more than $7 billion in assistance to producers and agriculture entities. For more details, visit farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance.

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

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