For the Week Ending July 29, 2022

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USDA Begins Pandemic Relief Payments to Pork Producers

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) this week began issuing nearly $63 million in pandemic assistance payments to hog producers under the Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program. SMHPP assists eligible producers who sold hogs through a spot market sale from April 16 through Sept. 1, 2020.

Initially proposed as a $50 million program in December 2021, USDA suspended SMHPP to revise eligibility requirements and make other changes in response to NPPC’s recommendations. NPPC worked tirelessly with USDA and is gratified the agency implemented nearly all its suggestions. Among the changes were ones to make negotiated sales to meat lockers, intermediaries, and other non-traditional hog buyers, not just to traditional packers, explicitly eligible and to include hogs “suitable for slaughter” as part of “eligible hogs.”

USDA also allocated an additional $20 million to the program to ensure all eligible hogs would be covered and payments to producers would not need to be limited.

(Read NPPC’s statement on SMHPP here.)

Senate Expected to Vote on Budget Reconciliation Bill Next Week
A deal struck between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) this week will see the Senate next week voting on a scaled-back fiscal 2023 budget reconciliation measure.

The $433 billion Senate bill includes funding for health care and climate and energy initiatives. While it does have a new 15% corporate minimum tax for businesses with profits in excess of $1 billion, kept out of the legislation were provisions that would have expanded for non-corporate taxpayers the current 3.8% Net Investment Income Tax to all non-wage income and expanded and extended the “excess business loss limitation.”

Earlier this month, NPPC joined nearly 200 agriculture and business organizations representing family-owned and small farms and companies in voicing opposition to the tax law changes that were included in the $1.6 billion reconciliation package. The so-called Build Back Better bill was approved by the House last fall.

Opposition from Manchin and Senate Republicans to most of the tax-and-spend provisions in the House measure stalled Senate action on a reconciliation bill for the past several months.

Once the upper chamber approves its scaled-back bill, the House must pass it before it goes to the White House to be signed into law.


Capital Update to Modify Schedule as Congress Takes Break
With Senate and House lawmakers beginning a month-long recess starting late next week, Capital Update will be issued on an as-needed basis over the following six Fridays. It will resume regular publication the Friday of Labor Day week.

NPPC Fall Legislative Fly-in Set
NPPC’s fall Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C., will take place Sept. 14-15. The biannual fly-in draws more than 100 pork producers from around the country to meet with their members of Congress to discuss various issues of importance to the U.S. pork industry.

The Capitol Hill-famous “BaconFest” will return after a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19 restrictions. Pork producers interested in attending should contact NPPC – 515-278-8012 – or their state pork association.