The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) urged congressional leadership to include the RELIEF for Producers Act of 2020 in the next COVID economic recovery package.

“American hog farmers have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and are in desperate need of additional federal assistance. Much-needed legislative solutions have been proposed in both chambers of Congress and we ask that they be included in the next COVID-relief package under consideration,” NPPC said in a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Sen. Charles Schumer.

The bill, introduced by Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), includes:
1) compensation for euthanized and donated hogs
2) additional funding for animal health surveillance and laboratories, which have appropriately assisted and shared resources with their public health partners
3) modification of the Commodity Credit Corporation charter so a pandemic-driven national emergency qualifies for funding

“Our producers are also in need of federal support in connection with those hogs which have made it into the food supply. Prices are terribly depressed and support is needed to keep producers solvent. Thus, our producers also need support in the form of direct payments,” NPPC wrote.

NPPC also continues to push for enhancements to the Paycheck Protection Program.

“The likelihood of a deal coming together on the COVID relief package remains unclear with sides far apart,” NPPC said in a release.

Farm Journal’s Pork | Jennifer Shike | August