Study: African Swine Fever outbreak would potentially cost the U.S. $50 billion


According to a new study from economists at Iowa State University, an outbreak of African Swine Fever in the U.S. would cost the ag sector up to $50 billion over 10 years if the disease were to spread uncontrolled through feral hogs. That would also mean a loss of about 140,000 jobs, with 22,000 of those coming from Iowa.

The author of the study was ISU economics and finance professor Dermot Hayes. He and his team looked at two separate scenarios, what would happen if the disease spread to a feral swine, leaving the U.S. unable to eliminate it as well as what would happen if the U.S. was able to get the disease under control within two years.

In both scenarios, it is estimated there would be an immediate impact of 40-50 percent reduction in domestic live hog prices. Financial losses if the U.S. was able to reenter the export market within two years would be about $15 billion, whereas it would be $50 billion over 10 years if it was not controlled.

The 10-year projection period is known as the all-years scenario (red line) on the graph. The two-year scenario is represented by the green line.


(Iowa State University)

“This study underscores the need for ASF preparedness by everyone in the U.S. pork industry,” said David Newman, National Pork Board president and a pig farmer representing Arkansas. “It’s why the Pork Checkoff continues to encourage producers to participate in the voluntary Secure Pork Supply plan. It’s also why we’re continuing to collaborate with state, federal and allied-industry partners to protect our country from foreign animal diseases and to have plans in place should the worst ever happen.”

You can read the full report here.