Iowa State University economists put together a study on the economic impact an outbreak of African Swine Fever would have on U.S. hog herds.
The researchers calculated the grim figure by determining that 140,000 jobs would be lost as a result of a downsized domestic pork industry devastated by uncontrolled ASF.
The lead study author, Dermot Hayes, professor of economics and finance, says researchers looked at two scenarios.
One assumes the disease spreads to feral swine and that the U.S. is unable to eliminate the disease over the 10-year projection period, called the all-years scenario.
The second assumes that the U.S. gets the disease under control and reenters the export markets within two years.
The immediate impact of both scenarios is a 40-to-50 percent reduction in domestic live hog prices, which would be needed to clear the market of surplus pork that would otherwise be exported.
The pork industry would lose a total of $15 billion in the two-year scenario and just over $50 billion in the all-years scenario.
“This study underscores the need for ASF preparedness by everyone in the U.S. pork industry,” says David Newman, National Pork Board President. “It’s why we continue to encourage producers to participate in the voluntary Secure Pork Supply Plan.”