On Wednesday Congressman Jim Hagedorn (MN-01) introduced the "Direct Pork Assistance Package Act," legislation that would provide an additional $5 billion to the USDA Office of the Secretary to mitigate losses incurred by livestock farmers due to the coronavirus.
Hagedorn's bill directs support payments to pork producers who have sold into an artificially depressed market and suffered losses due to restaurant closures, processing disruptions and other factors related to COVID-19. Earlier this month, Hagedorn introduced H.R. 7030 to mitigate losses associated with the forced-destruction of market-ready hogs.
"Our pork producers in southern Minnesota and across the nation have been devastated with reduced demand, depressed futures markets, and packing plant disruptions and closures. My priority is to support our family farmers, who are suffering financially and otherwise through no fault of their own. My legislation will stabilize much of the livestock industry, help independent pork producers maintain operations, support our rural southern Minnesota economy and ensure that our American food supply remains robust," says Hagedorn.
The bill also states that payment may be made to a pork producer (regardless of the adjusted gross income of such producer) in any amount so long as such amount is not greater than the total losses of such pork producer of market-ready hogs due to the COVID–19 pandemic.