Hog and poultry producers who had to depopulate herds or flocks because of the COVID-19 slowdowns in processing plants can start applying July 20 for compensation from the Agriculture Department.

The application period for the Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program will run through Sept. 17. The payments, which cover the cost of euthanizing and disposing of animals, are expected to go primarily to hog producers, although chicken and turkey producers also are eligible.

Congress authorized the payments to cover losses for animals depopulated from March 1, 2020, through Dec. 26, 2020.  The payments will be based on 80% of the fair market value of the livestock and poultry and the cost of killing and disposing of the animals.

“Throughout the pandemic, we learned very quickly the importance and vulnerability of the supply chain to our food supply,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Many livestock producers had to make the unfortunate decision to depopulate their livestock inventory when there simply was no other option.”

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The PLIP payments will be reduced by the amount of any assistance producers received from the Natural Resources Conservation Service or through a state program for depopulated herds or flocks.

Payments also will be offset by any Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments that were made for the animals that were ultimately depopulated.

There is no cap on the amount of PLIP payments that an individual farm can receive, but there is an income limit. Recipients must have earned less than $900,000 for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 tax years.

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