Senators Seek Disaster Aid for PEDv Hog Losses

March 14, 2014 03:08 AM
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USDA, others looking at farm bill disaster language

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.

Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), up for reelection in November, are urging USDA to provide disaster assistance via the new farm bill to producers who have lost pigs to the PED virus.

The senators also want USDA to accelerate efforts to find an effective vaccine and other prevention measures. “If this disease persists, pork herds will continue to diminish and producers risk going out of business,” the senators wrote in a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Comments: Sources say the livestock disaster provisions included in the 2014 Farm Bill has the word “disease” in the language and thus should likely qualify PED virus-impacted producers. Some lawmakers are calling on USDA to declare a disaster in areas where PEDv has become prevalent. That would allow affected producers to access the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) that was reauthorized in the new farm bill. However, there are other complex questions regarding any disaster program for this disease. The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has not yet issued any public statement regarding whether or not they will seek any such aid. I heard conflicting information from hog producers regarding pushing for any disaster aid when I spoke at several state and industry pork meetings lately.

Meanwhile, PEDv cases continue to rise. There were 274 new cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) confirmed the week ending March 12, bringing the grand total to 4,458, according to National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN). Arizona has two confirmed cases of PEDV, bringing the total number of states with positive PEDV cases to 27. Iowa continues to lead the number of total confirmed cases at 1,521, an increase of 165 from last week. Minnesota comes in second on the list with 701 confirmed cases (up 107 from last week) and North Carolina is third of the list at 486 cases (up 50 from last week).


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.






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