ASF could generate massive losses: Hayes

February 15, 2022

Dermot HayesDermot Hayes, professor, was interviewed for a NPR story Feb.16 story, "As African Swine Fever plagues other countries, the U.S. works to keep it out."

If African Swine Fever reached the U.S. and spread to big pork-producing states like Iowa, “We’d be in a lot of trouble,” said Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes.

“We’d lose almost all of those export markets overnight if we get this disease,” he said.

Hayes and other economists at Iowa State University predict African Swine Fever could generate massive losses for U.S. pork. Their study published in 2011 and updated in 2020 estimated the pork industry could lose $15 billion over two years and $50 billion over 10 years.

The worst-case scenario, Hayes said, would be if the disease gets into the feral hog population in the southern U.S. where it would be much harder to control.

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A study by Hayes was cited in a Feb. 15 Gazette story, "Iowa’s outdated bottle bill runs counter to global trends."

Dr. Dermot Hayes, an Iowa State University economist, has conducted the most recent evaluation of potential changes to the bottle bill for lawmakers. He says the state could finance an expanded, modernized redemption system by increasing the current 1-cent-per-container handling fee to 3 cents; raising the container deposit fee to 10 cents from 5 cents; expanding the containers for which deposits are required to include water, other non-carbonated and non-alcoholic drinks; and introducing more stand-alone “bottle-drop” redemption centers near stores, strip malls and other retailers, as happened in the state of Oregon.


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