Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP) – Considerations for hog producers

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by Megan Roberts, Extension educator, Ag Business Management

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency’s Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP) opened for application by qualified livestock producers on July 20 and remains open until September 17. The program assists swine, chicken, and/or turkey producers who suffered financial losses due to depopulation related to COVID-19 disruptions, i.e. insufficient access to processing. Losses must have occurred between March 1 and December 26, 2020. Producers must have had ownership of the depopulated animals on the day of the loss. In other words, contract growers are not eligible for payment under this program.

According to the USDA, “PLIP payments will compensate eligible producers for 80 percent of the loss of the eligible livestock or poultry, and for the cost of depopulation and disposal, based on a single payment rate per head. Any previous payments you received for disposal of your animals under a state program or USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program [EQIP] will be subtracted from the final PLIP payment amount. The payments will also be reduced by any [Coronavirus Food Assistance Program] CFAP 1 and CFAP 2 payments paid on the same inventory of swine that were depopulated.”

Minnesota is one of the states that created its own livestock indemnity programs back in 2020.  Minnesota offered state level funding via the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s hog depopulation cost share program. If a Minnesota producer participated in the hog depop cost-share and plans to participate in PLIP, it’s essential to gather records related to the hog cost-share in order to prepare your PLIP application. The PLIP application asks for a total amount of state-level funding and/or EQIP funding for any depopulated animals included on the PLIP application. Swine CFAP payments also must be accounted for on the PLIP application; this is discussed more below. All prior payments received for the same animal(s) result in a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the gross calculated PLIP payment.

Let’s take a closer look at the program calculations and application. FSA uses the following simple calculation for PLIP:

Expected PLIP Payment =

(PLIP Payment Rate Per Head X # Head Depopulated)  –  Previous Payments

The payment rates per head already take into consideration the 80 percent compensation factor. Below is the list of payment rates for swine.

Eligible Swine Categories (Kind/Type/Weight Range) PLIP Payment Rate per Head (After 80 Percent Factor)
Suckling Nursery Pigs; Less than 50 pounds $55.31
Lightweight Barrows and Gilts; 50-150 pounds $88.70
Sows, Boars, Barrows, and Gilts; 151-250 pounds $122.10
Sows, Boars, Barrows, and Gilts; 251-450 pounds $158.88
Boars and Sows; 451 pounds or greater $258.57

“Please note that swine that were depopulated before birth are not eligible for PLIP payments” (farmers.gov).

The PLIP application then ask for per head CFAP inventories that were depopulated. This is a fill-in-the-blank question, see below for an example.

Number of head of swine included in CFAP 1 inventory and depopulated: _______

Number of head of swine included in CFAP 2 inventory and depopulated: _______

Lastly, the amount received for disposal of depopulated livestock from the MN hog-depopulation cost-share and/or EQIP is requested.

Let’s say a producer, with 100% ownership interest of their operation, depopulated 75 market weight hogs over 250 lbs. They previously received $30 a head for the hogs from the state of Minnesota (gross amount $2,250), and did not participate in EQIP’s depopulation payment program. They also included those 75 hogs as inventory in their CFAP 1 application. That is all the information the producer would need for the application. If the producer wanted to do a back of the envelope calculation of the expected calculation, they could using the following equation:

($158.88 payment rate X 75 head depopulated) – ($2,250 from MN state program) – (CFAP 1 inventory CCC Part 2 payment rate of $17 X 75 head) = expected payment of $8,391

To qualify, producers must comply by all of FSA’s ordinary eligibility requirements. Applicants are not required to submit supporting documentation records for their depopulation as a part of the PLIP application; however, if requested by FSA, the applicant must then provide it. “Examples of supporting documentation include veterinarian records, feeding records, inventory records, rendering receipts, purchase receipts, and other records determined acceptable by the County Committee” (farmers.gov). According to the USDA, “there is no per person or legal entity payment limitation on PLIP payments,” which is a notable exception to standard FSA payment limitations.

Detailed up-to-date information on the program, including the payment rates per head, is available at farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/plip or by contacting your local USDA Service Center. All PLIP program information is sourced from USDA; please note governmental programs sometimes undergo updates during administration. Information could change.