A new study from Iowa State University and BarnTools, which calls itself “a digital biosecurity platform company,” estimates an outbreak of African swine fever in this country could cost at least $14 billion over two years and as much as $50 billion over 10 years. Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, one of the study’s authors, says the difference in the estimates comes from whether the virus is kept to the wild boar population or if it gets into the domestic pork supply.
“In either case, the take home for me is we need to keep this disease out of the country,” Hayes says, “and it’s worth spending a lot of money to do that.”
In an April 9 Des Moines Register story, "From closed factories to falling corn prices, rural Iowa feels widespread impact of the coronavirus pandemic," Hayes was quoted.
Dermot Hayes, an ISU agriculture economist, said fear about lost processing capacity is part of the reason why beef and pork prices have plummeted. Depending on the timing, more closures "could have a devastating impact on prices," Hayes said.