Egg prices at the grocery store were elevated throughout 2022 due to outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) among egg-laying hens, said USDA economists. “Lower-than-usual shell egg inventories near the end of the year, combined with increased demand stemming from the holiday baking season, resulted in several successive weeks of record-high egg prices."
A record 50.54 million birds in domestic flocks have died of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), or were culled to prevent spread of the viral disease since February, according to USDA data.
In a traditional moment of White House whimsy ahead of Thanksgiving, President Biden pardoned tom turkeys "Chocolate" and "Chip" on Monday. An outbreak of bird flu has driven up turkey prices and crimped supplies for the holiday season.
In nine months, nationwide outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza have killed 50.12 million birds in domestic flocks, said USDA data on Wednesday. Losses from HPAI and the culling of infected flocks are now on par with the 2014-15 bird flu outbreak, which the USDA has described as the most significant animal disease event in U.S. history.
The Agriculture Department has spent $450 million to combat this year’s outbreak of bird flu, but losses among domestic flocks are nearing the record set seven years ago in the largest-ever U.S. animal health emergency. The outbreak has driven up egg prices and tightened the supply of holiday turkeys.
For the first time, researchers have tracked the movements of a wild duck infected with bird flu, information that could help them come up with disease mitigation strategies against the viral disease, said the U.S. Geological Survey on Wednesday. More than 47.7 million birds in U.S. domestic flocks have died in outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza since February.
Bird flu was discovered in a backyard flock in the Albuquerque area, making New Mexico the 42nd state where the viral disease has been confirmed this year, said the Agriculture Department on Thursday.
Scientists confirmed a backyard flock of poultry in northwestern Tennessee was infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), part of a resurgence of the disease in the central states. Some 3.37 million birds in domestic flocks have died of bird flu so far this month; nationwide losses during September will be the largest since April.
After a summertime lull, bird flu is back in the Midwest, the heart of U.S. egg and turkey production, with outbreaks at commercial poultry farms in Minnesota and Ohio since Sept. 1. Some 43.85 million birds have been culled this year due to highly pathogenic avian influenza, and one analyst says turkey and egg prices may remain elevated for some time to come.
The risk of another outbreak of avian influenza this fall remains elevated and the stakes for poultry producers couldn’t be higher, with U.S. poultry exports expected to reach record levels in 2022, said a report Tuesday from CoBank's Knowledge Exchange.
While this year’s outbreaks of bird flu, the worst in seven years, are following the usual pattern of dissipating during hot weather, it’s too early to declare the threat over, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday.
Bird flu will have a “meaningful impact” on turkey supplies in coming months, said the head of Hormel Foods, the second-largest turkey processor in the country, on Thursday. Chief executive Jim Snee said Hormel anticipated “large supply gaps” for its Jennie-O Turkey Store operations in the months ahead because of flock losses.
Bird flu outbreaks are driving up egg and poultry meat prices far faster than usual, with eggs expected to cost 20 percent more and poultry 9 percent more this year than their 2021 averages, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday.
Bird flu ranks as a low threat to public health, said the Centers for Disease Control, after a Colorado correctional inmate tested positive for avian influenza after culling an infected flock. It was the first U.S. case and the second worldwide of human infection by the H5N1 viruses now circulating among birds globally.
As bird flu losses topped 35 million fowl, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Thursday that the USDA has paid about $146 million in indemnities to poultry owners, with an additional $263 million available. “That’s about half of where we were in 2014-2015 with the last outbreak,” he said.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack approved the second infusion of additional funding to the agency fighting outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza from the Atlantic to the Rockies, said the USDA on Wednesday.
In less than three months, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has killed more than 31 million birds, mostly chickens and turkeys, in domestic flocks from the Atlantic coast into the Rockies, according to USDA data released Sunday. Officials said bird flu was identified on two additional egg farms in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with a combined 2 million hens.
With the discovery of bird flu on a Pennsylvania egg farm, more than 20 million egg-laying hens have died in outbreaks of the viral disease this year, according to USDA data released on Monday. Wholesale prices for eggs were at least $1 higher per dozen than a year ago, with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) as a factor.