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Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program applications opening this month

Starting this month, livestock and poultry producers challenged by meat processing bottlenecks during the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for assistance toward those losses, depopulation, and disposal costs.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP) this week. This announcement is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Livestock and poultry producers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) July 20 through Sept. 17, 2021.

“Throughout the pandemic, we learned very quickly the importance and vulnerability of the supply chain to our food supply,” said Vilsack. “Many livestock producers had to make the unfortunate decision to depopulate their livestock inventory when there simply was no other option. This targeted assistance will help livestock and poultry producers who were among the hardest hit by the pandemic alleviate some financial burden from these losses.”

What livestock is eligible for PLIP payments?

Eligible livestock must have been depopulated from March 1, 2020, through December 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access as a result of the pandemic. Livestock must have been physically located in the U.S. or a territory of the U.S. at the time of depopulation.

Eligible livestock and poultry include swine, chickens, and turkeys, but pork producers are expected to be the primary recipients of the assistance.

Who can apply for PLIP payments?

Eligible livestock owners include persons or legal entities who, as of the day the eligible livestock was depopulated, had legal ownership of the livestock. Packers, live poultry dealers, and contract growers are not eligible for PLIP.

How will PLIP payments be calculated?

PLIP payments compensate participants for 80% of both the loss of the eligible livestock or poultry and for the cost of depopulation and disposal based on a single payment rate per head. PLIP payments will be calculated by multiplying the number of head of eligible livestock or poultry by the payment rate per head, and then subtracting the amount of any payments the eligible livestock or poultry owner has received for disposal of the livestock or poultry under the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) or a state program. The payments will also be reduced by any Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 1 and 2) payments paid on the same inventory of swine that were depopulated.

What are the PLIP payment rates?

Eligible livestock or poultry category PLIP payment rate per head (After 80% factor)
Swine: Boars and sows; 451 pounds or greater $258.57
Swine: Sows, Boars, Barrows, and Gilts; 251-450 pounds $158.88
Swine: Sows, Boars, Barrows, and Gilts; 151-250 pounds $122.10
Swine: Lightweight Barrows and Gilts; 50-150 pounds $88.70
Swine: Suckling Nursery Pigs; Less than 50 pounds $55.31
Chickens: Chicks $0.32
Chickens: Pullets, Cornish Hens; less than 4.26 pounds $2.16
Chickens: Broilers, Pullets; 4.26-6.25 pounds  $3.18
Chickens: Roasters; 6.26-7.75 pounds  $4.04
Chickens: Super Roasters and Parts; 7.76 pounds or greater $5.31
Chickens: Layers  $4.94
Turkeys: Poults  $2.15
Turkeys: Toms, Fryers, and Roasters $15.57

What are PLIP payment limitations?

There is no per-person or legal entity payment limitation on PLIP payments. To be eligible for payments, a person or legal entity must have an average adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017, and 2018.

How can farmers apply for PLIP assistance?

Eligible livestock and poultry producers can apply for PLIP starting July 20, 2021, by completing the FSA-620, Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program application, and submitting it to any FSA county office. Additional documentation may be required. Visit farmers.gov/plip for a copy of the Notice of Funding Availability and more information on how to apply.

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 your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator. Livestock and poultry producers can also call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance.

How is the agriculture industry reacting to the announcement of PLIP assistance?

House agriculture committee chairman David Scott of Georgia issued the following statement after USDA’s announcement.

“I applaud the USDA for making assistance available to livestock and poultry producers who were impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Scott. “The Agriculture Committee provided this assistance in a bipartisan manner in December as supporting these producers was a priority, and I am pleased to see that, starting next week, assistance will finally begin to arrive.”

“I also appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s rollout of assistance from the American Rescue Plan last week to strengthen and protect American meat and poultry supply chains, and I look forward to collaborating alongside Secretary Vilsack on ways in which we can continue to support these producers as they recover from the pandemic,” Scott continued.

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