Pay Pork Producers For Pigs Euthanized Because of COVID-19?
The next COVID-19 relief bill should include indemnity money for pork producers that had to euthanize their pigs because pork processing plants were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That is what 14 U.S. senators said in a letter to U.S. House and Senate leaders. Estimates are that around 400,000 hogs a week have to be euthanized when pork processing plants nation wide are at 80 percent of normal.
When a number of pork processing plants were shut down we were at about 50 percent of capacity. All the plants are back operating now but due to a shortage of employees they have reduced capacity. Earlier this week the estimates were that we were back to about 80 percent of where we were before COVID-19.
Imagine what it is like to be a pork producer. I have a neighbor that is a pork producer that I work with. I deliver and sell my corn to his feed mill. I also get some manure from one of his nurseries by my farm. He told me they were doing pretty well delivering their pigs until a processing plant shut down due to COVID-19. In one week they fell behind 18 semi loads of finished pigs ready for market and no place to take them.
That is a lot of dollars that was intended to pay the feed bill, vet bill, employees wages, building payments, the list goes on and on! Virtually everyone's lives have been turned upside down by COVID-19 but it would seem like livestock producers have been hit the hardest! Hopefully some help will be on the way soon!