NPPC calls on Senate to pass ag provisions of HEROES Act
The National Pork Producers Council on Thursday called on the Senate “to expeditiously adopt” livestock agriculture provisions included in the HEROES Act recently passed by the House.
“All pork producers are hurting, and immediate action is imperative,” NPPC President Howard “AV” Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wis., said in a news release and a call to reporters.
“We need the Senate to act quickly on companion legislation to provide this critical lifeline to hog farmers. Without prompt government assistance, many generational family farms will go bankrupt. This will destroy the livelihood of our communities and lead to consolidation and contraction in a farm sector that generates more than 500,000 jobs and $23 billion in personal income,” he added.
The pork producers said they face a collective $5 billion loss this year and that even though hog processing plants are operating at more capacity than a few weeks ago, there is still a back up of 150,000 hogs per week and that producers are losing $50 to $60 per hog that they take to market.
NPPC said livestock provisions in the HEROES Act would help pork producers by providing:
▪ Compensation for euthanized livestock that can’t be processed into the food supply due to COVID-related packing plant capacity reductions;
▪ Expanded direct payments — without payment limitations — to livestock farmers who have suffered severe losses as COVID-related market disruptions have caused the value of their livestock to plummet;
▪ Increased funding for animal health surveillance and laboratories, which have been tapped to perform COVID-19 testing during this human health emergency; and
▪ Mental health assistance for farmers “who face an unimaginable animal welfare crisis.”
On the call NPPC officials emphasized that the Senate should not establish payment limits on the aid.
NPPC also included links to comments by individual farmers. If more aid is not passed, many producers will face bankruptcy, the producers said.
Meanwhile, the backlog of hogs in Iowa totals 2 million animals with no buyer and the Iowa state government will pay farmers up to $3.6 million apiece to help cover the cost of carcass disposal, the Food & Environment Reporting Network said.
Payments of $40 per head be made on a maximum of 90,000 market-ready hogs, weighing at least 225 pounds, for a total of $3.6 million per farmer.
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