USDA Updates Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program Eligibility – Oswego County Today

Photo courtesy of USDA.

WASHINGTON – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has clarified the definition of a cash market sale and the eligibility of pork under the Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program (SMHPP), which assists producers who sold hogs through a cash market sale from April 16, 2020 to September 1, 2020.

Pig producers will also now be required to submit documentation to support the information provided on their SMHPP application. The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept applications through April 29, 2022, which is an extension of the April 15, 2022 deadline previously set for the program.

The USDA is offering the SMHPP in response to a reduction in packer production due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a decrease in the purchase of traded hogs and a resulting drop in market prices. The program is part of the larger framework of the USDA Support for producers in the event of a pandemic initiative and fills the gaps in previous aid to pig farmers.

“Since enrollment for the Spot Market Hog Pandemic program opened, we have heard from stakeholders and interested parties who have expressed concern and confusion about the eligibility criteria, particularly as it relates to the definition of a spot market sale and the definition of an eligible pig,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “We have clarified the intent and scope of this program to target assistance to pork producers who have been hard hit by the pandemic but have not been included in other forms of assistance. By updating the SMHPP, we are working to provide new, broader and fairer opportunities for farmers, ranchers and producers.

SMHPP program updates:

When the pandemic disrupted normal marketing channels, including access to packers, producers sold their hogs for cash to local processors or butchers, direct sales to individuals and third-party intermediaries, including barns sales or brokers.

The use of third-party intermediaries was the only marketing alternative available to many growers and is now included in the SMHPP. The only direct-to-packer sales that are eligible for SMHPP are those through a brokered sale.

Hogs sold under a contract that includes a premium above the spot market price or some other formula such as the discounted wholesale price are not eligible. Pigs must be fit and intended for slaughter to be eligible. Immature pigs (pigs) are not eligible.

The FSA will now require documentation to substantiate the accuracy of the information provided on the FSA-940 Cash Market Pandemic Swine Program application, including the number of pigs declared on the application that were sold through a sale in the spot market and how the price was determined to sell it.

SMHPP payments will be calculated by multiplying the number of eligible pig heads, not to exceed 10,000 head, by the payment rate of $54 per head.

To ensure that the availability of SMHPP funding is paid out fairly to all eligible producers, the FSA will now issue payments after the application period has ended. If the calculated payments exceed the amount of funding available, the payments will be considered.

Ask for help ? :

Eligible hog producers can apply for SMHPP by April 29, 2022, by completing Application FSA-940, Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program, along with required supporting documentation. Producers can visit?farmers.gov/smhpp?for sample supporting documents, information on applicant eligibility, and more information on how to apply.

Applications may be submitted to the FSA office at any USDA service center nationwide by mail, fax, hand delivery, or electronically. To find their local FSA office, growers should visit?farmers.gov/service-locator. Pork producers can also call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance.

The USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming the US food system with greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe food, healthy and nutritious in all communities, creating new markets and income streams for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in clean energy infrastructure and capacity in the Rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and creating a workforce that is more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.

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