Hog farmers call for further assistance during coronavirus crisis

US farmers could face $5 billion in losses as hogs continue to back up on farms.
calendar icon 26 July 2020
clock icon 4 minute read

“This is, by far, the worst financial disaster ever for American hog farmers, who were already in a weakened financial position due to two years of trade retaliation” said Dr Meyer. “As we entered 2020, hog farmers were finally looking at a profitable year, only to have COVID-19 turn the industry on its head. Hog farmers are now looking at $5 billion in losses – or $37 per hog – relative to what they expected for 2020 before the COVID-19 crisis began. Roughly two million hogs are still backed up on farms and this is likely to cause more pigs to be euthanized to prevent suffering due to overcrowding. If COVID prompts additional plant disruptions – a real possibility – the number of hogs backed-up on farms will swell precipitously.”

“Many US hog farmers will not survive this crisis,” said NPPC President Howard “AV” Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “As the Senate begins work on the next COVID relief package, we urge lawmakers to provide a critical lifeline to hog farmers across the nation to minimise what has already been significant damage to our producers.”

Earlier this month, Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced the RELIEF for Producers Act of 2020, providing compensation for farmers who are forced to euthanize or donate animals that can’t be processed into the food supply as a result of COVID-19, among other provisions. NPPC strongly supports this legislation, as well as additional federal assistance championed by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), and urges Congress to quickly address this unprecedented crisis plaguing pork producers.

“The consequences of inaction are too great and would upset a healthy, dynamic and highly competitive pork production system that has served our farmers, the rural economy and consumers so well,” Roth said. “It’s imperative that Congress act now, or else thousands of farmers could go out of business, leading to consolidation and contraction of the US pork industry.”

Click here for more information on U.S. pork industry’s response to COVID-related challenges.

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