Hog producers who were unable to harvest pigs because of supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to get some help in covering the costs of disposing of animals that had to be euthanized, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced. The department is launching the disposal assistance program. It will offer producers $40 per approved market-ready hog weighing at least 225 pounds that had to be humanely euthanized to prevent welfare issues. According to the department, about 600,000 hogs in Iowa were unable to be harvested as of mid-May. “Pork producers are going to extraordinary lengths to donate pork to food banks and identify other markets for their animals but, in many cases, it’s not enough to make up for the backlog happening on farms,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said in a news release. “Producers are being forced to make very difficult decisions and this is one way the state is working to support them during these extremely challenging times.” Funding will be allocated in three rounds. Applications for the first round are due by Friday with notification of approval on June 1. Deadlines for applications for the second and third rounds are June 1 and June 9, respectively. The department is also exploring options to assist producers who euthanized and disposed of animals between May 1 and 26, 2020. For more information and to apply for the disposal assistance program, visit iowaagriculture.gov/idap.