The Iowa Department of Agriculture is launching a disposal assistance program to help pork producers who are unable to harvest pigs due to COVID-19 supply chain disruptions. COVID-19-related worker shortages are causing meat processing facilities to drastically reduce production.

Iowa State University estimates that, as of mid-May, approximately 600,000 pigs in Iowa were unable to be harvested. 

The Department is offering producers $40 per approved animal to help cover some of the disposal costs for market-ready hogs, weighing at least 225 pounds. 

Producers must provide documentation, including proof of proper disposal, and an affidavit from their herd veterinarian confirming impending welfare issues, to receive funding. 

The disposal assistance funding will be made available to Iowa producers in at least three rounds. 

Each approved applicant will receive funding for at least 1,000 animals and up to 30,000 animals per round, depending on the number of applicants. 

To qualify for the first round of funding, producers must submit their applications to the Iowa Department of Agriculture before May 29th.