Livestock producers who suffered losses during the pandemic now have another avenue for assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP) will be available to producers beginning on July 20. Eligible livestock and poultry producers can receive USDA funding for losses related to a lack of processing capacity. The announcement was made at the National Pork Industry Conference in Wisconsin. Livestock producers will have the opportunity to apply for assistance through September 17.
“Throughout the pandemic, we learned very quickly the importance and vulnerability of the supply chain to our food supply,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. “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.”
PLIP payments will be based on the fair market value for animals that had to be euthanized due to a lack of processing capacity. Payments will cover 80 percent of the value, along with the cost of depopulation and disposal of animals. To be eligible for the new program, livestock must have been depopulated between March 1 through December 26 of last year. Livestock will need to have been physically located in the U.S. at the time of depopulation to be eligible for assistance. While pork producers are expected to be the primary recipients of the PLIP assistance, chickens and turkeys are also covered by the program.
Applications for the program can be submitted to any local Farm Service Agency office. The PLIP is part of USDA’s overall Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative launched back in March. USDA is working to provide $7 billion worth of assistance to the agricultural industry through the initiative.