WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture announced that it plans to make $62.8 million in assistance payments available for the Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program (SMHPP) during the next week.

Animals eligible for the SMHPP include any hogs sold in the spot market from April 16, 2020, through Sept. 1, 2020. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) accepted SMHPP applications through April 29, 2022.

“In order to provide more targeted support to hog producers affected by the pandemic, FSA was able to increase funding for SMHPP to provide full payments to producers instead of applying a payment factor,” said Zach Ducheneaux, administrator for the FSA. “We are pleased to be able to provide more equitable opportunities for hog producers who were hard-hit by the pandemic.”

The payment will be calculated by multiplying the number of head of eligible hogs not to exceed 10,000 head, by the payment rate of $54 per head.

FSA originally planned to apply a payment factor if calculated payments exceeded the allocated $50 million in pandemic assistance funds.

“Payments are not expected to be factored due to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s decision to increase funding enabling producers to receive 100% of the calculated SMHPP payment,” FSA said.

There is no per-person or legal entity payment limitation on SMHPP payments.