USDA to Provide Pandemic Assistance to Livestock Producers for Animal Losses

FSA Will Begin Taking Applications for Indemnity Program July 20

Livestock and poultry producers who suffered losses during the pandemic due to insufficient access to processing can apply for assistance for those losses and the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animals. The announcement is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Livestock and poultry producers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) July 20 through Sept. 17, 2021.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, authorized payments to producers for losses of livestock or poultry depopulated from March 1, 2020 through December 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access as a result of the pandemic. PLIP payments will be based on 80% of the fair market value of the livestock and poultry and for the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animal. Eligible livestock and poultry include swine, chickens and turkeys.

PLIP Program Details

Eligible livestock must have been depopulated from March 1, 2020, through December 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access as a result of the pandemic. Livestock must have been physically located in the U.S. or a territory of the U.S. at the time of depopulation.

Eligible livestock owners include persons or legal entities who, as of the day the eligible livestock was depopulated, had legal ownership of the livestock. Packers, live poultry dealers and contract growers are not eligible for PLIP.

PLIP payments compensate participants for 80% of both the loss of the eligible livestock or poultry and for the cost of depopulation and disposal based on a single payment rate per head. PLIP payments will be calculated by multiplying the number of head of eligible livestock or poultry by the payment rate per head, and then subtracting the amount of any payments the eligible livestock or poultry owner has received for disposal of the livestock or poultry under the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) or a state program. The payments will also be reduced by any Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 1 and 2) payments paid on the same inventory of swine that were depopulated.

There is no per person or legal entity payment limitation on PLIP payments. To be eligible for payments, a person or legal entity must have an average adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Applying for Assistance

Eligible livestock and poultry producers can apply for PLIP starting July 20, 2021, by completing the FSA-620, Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program application, and submitting it to any FSA county office. Additional documentation may be required. Visit farmers.gov/plip for a copy of the Notice of Funding Availability and more information on how to apply.

Applications can be submitted to the FSA office at any USDA Service Center nationwide by mail, fax, hand delivery or via electronic means. To find your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator. Livestock and poultry producers can also call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance.

State Veterinarian Announces Implementation Of New Requirements For Livestock Entering Virginia

According to Dr. Richard Wilkes, State Veterinarian with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), effective August 15, 2012, breeding-age cattle coming into Virginia from other states must be tuberculosis (TB) test negative and properly identified. Imported cattle over 18 months of age without negative TB test results and proper identification will be quarantined until negative TB tests are conducted and official identification have been applied to each animal and submitted to the VDACS’ regional Office of Veterinary Services (OVS). Acceptable TB tests include individual animal testing within 60 days prior to entering Virginia, or an annual whole herd test for cattle originating from TB accredited herds.

On January 18, 2012, updated regulations regarding the health requirements for importing animals into Virginia became effective. Bovine tuberculosis (TB) testing on cattle that do not originate from a TB accredited free herd, as well as official individual identification, are now required on all cattle greater than 18 months of age coming into Virginia. Between January and now, VDACS has been educating cattle producers who import breeding-age cattle of the requirement for a TB test and official identification.

Once the most prevalent infectious disease of cattle and swine in the United States, bovine TB caused more losses among U.S. farm animals in the early part of the 20th century than all other infectious diseases combined. Since 1917, cooperative efforts of the states and USDA have nearly eradicated bovine TB from the nation’s livestock population. This disease’s presence in humans has been reduced as a result of the eradication program, advances in sanitation and hygiene, the discovery of effective drugs and pasteurization of milk.

Although bovine TB has been nearly eradicated, it is at this stage that surveillance and identification of infected cattle becomes most difficult. Within the last several years, TB has been newly diagnosed in at least ten states that were previously considered to be free. In order to continue to keep the disease out of Virginia’s livestock, reliable identification and assurance that imported cattle are TB-negative are essential. It is critical that potentially infected animals from out-of-state be permanently identified so that they will not jeopardize Virginia’s ability to market animals as coming from a TB-free state.
For additional information on the animal import regulations, see vdacs.virginia.gov/animals/adm-cattle.shtml