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New vaccine could aid in combating ASF disease

New vaccine could aid in combating ASF disease

Worries about China’s coronavirus have grabbed headlines, but there’s good news in the fight against another disease affecting China’s food supply, and by extension, U.S. animal feed sales in China.

USDA’s development of a promising new vaccine against African Swine Fever is a bit of good news as the world deals with China’s spreading coronavirus in animals and humans.

The so-far 100-percent effective USDA vaccine against ASF could give U.S. ag exports to China another big boost as that nation struggles with the pig disease that’s decimated its herd.

American Farm Bureau Trade Adviser Dave Salmonsen said depending on how effective the vaccine is and when it is available could help China other countries with their swineherd.

“If China builds back their herd, that would certainly increase demand for animal feeds into China, primarily our soybeans,” he said.

U.S. soybeans were hit hard by the now-ended tariff war between China and the U.S. but are now recovering ahead of and with the just-signed Phase One trade deal with China.

“The new vaccine can only further help and is another factor that certainly, will impact our agricultural exports to China over the next few years,” Salmonsen said.

In the meantime, African Swine Fever was on the brink of entering Germany, home to 26-million pigs and Europe’s largest pork producer. Germany could face a “massive” hog slaughter that would reverberate across markets worldwide.

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