Iowa Ag Department Extends Animal Disposal Assistance

The Iowa Department of Agriculture has extended a program to help pork and poultry producers forced to euthanize animals. The Iowa Disposal Assistance Program provides funds for producers forced to euthanize and dispose of market-ready and weaned pigs or layer hens because of supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19. This is the fourth round of funding in the program. Iowa is the largest producer of pork and egg products in the United States. Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig says, “The disposal assistance program is just one way the state is trying to help producers through this very difficult time.” Iowa’s pork producers have made difficult decisions over the past several months as COVID-19-related worker shortages caused meat processing facilities to reduce production. Meanwhile, Iowa’s egg producers have also faced distribution and disposal challenges because of COVID-19-related closures. Iowa is home to over 58 million egg-laying hens. Nearly 70 percent of Iowa’s layer flocks produce for the liquid egg market and are destined for restaurants, schools and other foodservice markets.