AgriTalk: How Devastating Would a Foot and Mouth Outbreak Really Be

( AgriTalk )

If you ask Dustin Baker, deputy director of economics & domestic production issues for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the U.S. would be catastrophic.

“We would assume that the beef and pork exports markets would shut down, which would drive down demand for corn and soybeans,” Baker said. “When you look at the impact it would have on beef, pork, corn, soybeans, and poultry, it would have about a $200 billion impact over 10 years.”

That is why he, and NPPC are pushing Congress to mandate funding for a vaccine bank. Their hope is to get language into the farm bill during conference. The House and Senate versions of the bill lay out two very different paths to fund the vaccine bank.

“The House version includes full funding for the first fiscal year of the farm bill, and then for the following four years it would have less funding to be shared with another group,” Baker said. “On the Senate side there is language authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a vaccine bank, but there is nothing mandated.”

Also on Tuesday’s AgriTalk, host Chip Flory talked with Pam Johnson of Maizeall, and Mike Dwyer with the U.S. Grains Council about efforts to increase ethanol trade with Brazil. They said the U.S. could be looking at up to one billion gallons of exported ethanol to Brazil in the coming years.

Steve Nicholson, with RaboAg research also joined the program to lay out the bottom line economic impact of issues discussed during the show.

Catch the full AgriTalk conversation by clicking the player below.