This summer, African swine fever (ASF) was discovered for the first time since 1984 in the western hemisphere. To understand the economic implications of an outbreak, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have partnered to bring experts together to discuss the impact of a potential ASF outbreak in the United States and Iowa.
The ASF impacts webinar will air live on Monday, Nov. 15 at 1 p.m. central time. Iowa Secretary Mike Naig, Iowa State University professor of economics and finance, Dermot Hayes, and state veterinarian Dr. Jeff Kaisand will detail the most recent information pertaining to ASF and provide perspective into the detrimental effects it could have on Iowa’s strong agricultural economy.
While not a human health issue, ASF could devastate Iowa agriculture across both livestock and grain sectors as well as trade. “ASF has the potential to be used as a reason to stifle purchases of U.S. pork globally and potentially negatively impact commodities other than pork,” says Dr. Sam Funk, IFBF’s senior economist. “Markets looking to limit U.S. soybean, corn or beef trade could paint shipments with a negative image as being from a country impacted by the animal disease. Furthermore, shifts in the market positions could jeopardize Iowa’s economic well-being as a leader in protein production.”
“Working to prevent and prepare for a potential foreign animal disease outbreak is a top priority for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. An effective response from state, federal and industry stakeholders is the best way to protect our livestock, economy, export markets and food chain if a foreign animal disease breaches the U.S. border,” said Secretary Naig. “We want to make sure stakeholders throughout the supply chain understand our response plans so we can minimize disruptions for producers, retailers and consumers.”
In addition, IDALS has scheduled five livestock farmer focus groups this winter to discuss farmer needs and preparedness related to foreign animal diseases within the poultry, swine, cattle, dairy, sheep and goat industries. Locations include Webster City (Dec. 14), Carroll (Jan. 12), Sioux Center (Jan. 13), Washington (Jan. 18) and Independence (Jan. 19). For more information on these meetings, visit iowaagriculture.gov/fad-stakeholder-focus-groups.