USDA Announces New Program to Provide Pandemic Assistance to Livestock Producers

Updated: 3 days ago


Image of a pig by the United Soybean Board
Image of a pig by the United Soybean Board

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USDA recently announced a new program to assist livestock and poultry growers for losses associated with depopulation and disposals of livestock and poultry in 2020. The new Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP) will assist livestock and poultry growers who experienced depopulation and disposal losses from March 1, 2020, to December 26, 2020. Unfortunately, contract growers are not eligible for this program. As of this writing, we are still waiting on USDA to announce a program to assist contract growers.


Program Eligibility


To be eligible for PLIP, a grower needs to be an individual or a legal entity and meet the following requirements. First, the grower must have legal ownership of the livestock or poultry on the day of depopulation. Contract growers, packers, and live poultry dealers would not be eligible for the program.


Image of chicken by United Soybean Board
Image of chicken by United Soybean Board

Second, growers need an adjusted gross income (AGI) below $900,000 for 2016, 2017, and 2018. For joint ventures and general partnerships, this AGI provision applies to individual members.


Finally, growers must comply with conservation compliance provisions known as the “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation” regulations, be a U.S. citizen or resident alien, and submit the application form (FSA-620) and any required documentation. Growers with a controlled substance violation are not eligible for PLIP.


How PLIP Operates

To receive assistance, the eligible grower must have owned swine, chickens, or turkeys depopulated between March 1, 2020, and December 26, 2020. The depopulation must have been due to insufficient processing access due to COVID-19. At the same time, the livestock or poultry must have been physically located in the United States or territory at the time of the depopulation. PLIP payments will compensate for 80 percent of the loss of the eligible livestock or poultry and depopulation and disposal costs, based on a payment per head. There is no payment limitation on the amount of PLIP payments.


https://www.farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/plip
Image of Table 1 with payment rates.

PLIP payments will be reduced if the grower received payments under a state program or the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. In addition, swine growers will see PLIP payments reduced by any CFAP 1 or CFAP 2 payments received for the depopulated swine.

Eligible payments will be calculated based on a payment rate times the number of depopulated livestock/poultry. Table 1 includes the payment rates. The payment will be reduced based on the previous payments discussed earlier. For example, an eligible poultry grower forced to depopulate 200 chickens weighing around 7lbs each due to the COVID-19 pandemic could expect the following payment: 200 chickens times $4.04 equals a PLIP payment of $808. If the grower had received $200 in state program payments due to the depopulation of the birds, the payment would be reduced to $608.


Applying for PLIP


Eligible growers have until October 12, 2021, to apply for the program. After that, eligible growers can go to their county FSA office to begin the paperwork process. Eligible growers can also visit https://www.farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/ to get more details and start the paperwork process there.