USDA extends deadline for Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program
Hog producers who sold hogs through a spot market sale during the COVID-19 pandemic now have until April 15 to submit their applications for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program (SMHPP). SMHPP, which is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, originally had a deadline to submit applications by Feb. 25.
SMHPP assists hog producers who sold hogs through a spot market sale from April 16, 2020, through Sept. 1, 2020, the period during which these producers faced the greatest reduction in market prices due to the pandemic. USDA is offering SMHPP in response to a reduction in packer production and supply chain issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in fewer negotiated hogs being procured and subsequent lower market prices. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) began accepting applications for SMHPP on Dec. 15, 2021.
“In response to stakeholder feedback and our analysis of the program to date, we will be making adjustments to clarify the definition of a spot market sale and to hog eligibility, while including documentation requirements to prevent erroneous payments,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “We’ll be announcing those updates soon and want to assure hog producers that there will be ample time to submit their applications for assistance.”
Applying for assistance
Eligible hog producers can apply for SMHPP by completing the FSA-940, Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program application. Visit farmers.gov/smhpp to learn more.
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 their local FSA office, producers can visit farmers.gov/service-locator. Hog producers can also call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. Because of the pandemic, some USDA Service Centers are open to limited visitors. Contact your Service Center to set up an in-person or phone appointment. Additionally, more information related to USDA’s response and relief for producers can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
Disaster assistance available for livestock losses
The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides assistance to you for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather, disease and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law.
For disease losses, FSA county committees can accept veterinarian certifications that livestock deaths were directly related to adverse weather and unpreventable through good animal husbandry and management.
For 2022 livestock losses, you must file a notice within 30 calendar days of when the loss is first apparent. You then must provide the following supporting documentation to your local FSA office no later than 60 calendar days after the end of the calendar year in which the eligible loss condition occurred.
• Proof of death documentation
• Copy of grower’s contracts
• Proof of normal mortality documentation
USDA has established normal mortality rates for each type and weight range of eligible livestock, i.e. Adult Beef Cow = 1.5% and Non-Adult Beef Cattle (less than 400 pounds) = 5%. These established percentages reflect losses that are considered expected or typical under “normal” conditions.
In addition to filing a notice of loss, you must also submit an application for payment by March 1, 2023.