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Bill to provide $5 billion in additional aid to pork producers introduced in U.S. House

Legislation that would appropriate an additional $5 billion to help pork producers mitigate losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been introduced in the U.S. House.

Minnesota Republican Jim Hagedorn tells Brownfield the Direct Pork Assistance Package Act supports payments to independent pig farmers who have sold into an artificially depressed market.

“When the coronavirus pandemic hit and we had to kind of shut down the economy and close the restaurants, the demand for finer cuts of meat went through the floor along with our futures markets for pork. And on top of that we had packing plant disruptions.”

All told, he tells Brownfield pork producers have been hit especially hard.

Hagedorn, who introduced the bill, says they arrived at $5 billion in direct assistance by first assessing the value of the market before the pandemic hit.

“This is all out there (and) we think the $5 billion would be enough. It doesn’t mean all of it would be expended. There are usually calculations that are made, people are made whole up to upwards of 80 percent (and) things of that nature when you have these types of disaster situations.”

Last month, Hagedorn introduced separate legislation that targets the economic harm associated with the forced destruction of market-ready hogs.

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