NPPC urging Congress for additional pandemic relief aid
The National Pork Producers Council is making another appeal
to Congress to provide financial aid to hog farmers who are struggling because
of COVID-19 related challenges.
NPPC’s vice president & counsel Nick Giordano says their ask is “open-ended”. “We really don’t know what the final damage is going to be,” he says. “Having said that we understand that nobody is going to be made whole, we’re just trying to keep as many producers possible in business.”
Kerns and Associates ag economist Steve Meyer says this is
the worst financial disaster US hog farmers have ever faced and some producers
won’t make it. “I think that we can see
the writing on the wall that if this continues for the length of time we think
it’s going to continue, there will be some producers that won’t be able to
handle it,” he says. “And it won’t just
be small producers, there will be some larger producers who will have some
financial difficulties as well.”
Meyer estimates that in May between 300,000 and 400,000 market-weight pigs were euthanized and around 1 million lightweight pigs had to be euthanized to accommodate the lack of available processing capacity.
Earlier this month Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Richard Burr (R-NC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduce the RELIEF for Producers Act of 2020, which would provide compensation to farmers who are forced to euthanize or donate animals that can’t be processed into the food supply chain as a result of COVID-19.