Iowa leaders asking for federal indemnities for hog culling


Four Iowa political leaders wrote Vice President Mike Pence a letter Monday saying farmers across the nation may be forced to kill 700,000 hogs a week because of coronavirus closures and slowdowns at slaughter plants. The officials asked for federal indemnities to help the farmers stay in business.

Kerns and Associates estimated that 36% of the U.S. hog slaughter capacity was idled on Monday, reported by Successful Farming. The USDA announced the creation of a National Incident Coordination Center over the weekend to help producers look for alternative markets for their hogs or to provide assistance in euthanizing them.

Iowa accounts for 32% of the U.S. inventory of hogs, making it the number 1 hog state.

According to unofficial accounts, hog producers would receive $1.6 billion in cash from the $19 billion Coronavirus Food Assistance Program announced on April 17.