“We need help now to weather this unprecedented crisis.”
As Senators make their way back to D.C., that is the plea from National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President A.V. Roth.
He added, “Without swift congressional action to address this dire situation, me and thousands of generational farm families could go out of business.”
NPPC is urging Congress to pass the RELIEF for Producers Act of 2020, legislation that would provide compensation for farmers forced to euthanize or donate animals that can’t be processed into the food supply due to COVID-19.
How bad is the situation? Dr. Steve Meyer, an economist with Kerns & Associates, says hog farmers are looking at $5 billion in losses, or $37 per hog.
“In the 30 years that I’ve been involved as an analyst, this is by far the largest economic hit that I’ve ever seen this industry take. We had a terrible hit in 1998, we had another one in 2009, but nothing compares to this. And it comes off of a two-year period when we thought we were going to make money and because of the trade disruptions and stuff, they’ve been basically breaking even for the average producer out there.”
In addition to the RELIEF for Producers Act, NPPC is joining other ag groups in urging Congress to include additional direct payments to producers as part of the next coronavirus relief package. Senate Republicans are expected to release their relief package proposal this week.