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.
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.
While beef and broiler meat exports surged in the first half of this year, egg exports plummeted 38 percent, turkey 20 percent and pork 18 percent, said USDA economists. Eggs and turkeys "were negatively impacted by the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), according to the Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook, issued monthly.
Poultry farmers would have more protection against abuse by processors under a USDA proposal to revamp the “tournament” system that pits producers against each other in a competition for income, said the Biden administration on Thursday. The administration also announced $200 million in funding to help independent meat processors go into business or expand production.
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.
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.
Laboratory tests confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in three additional states, Pennsylvania, Idaho and Utah, with losses in domestic flocks nearing 27.4 million birds, said the Agriculture Department. The first outbreak in Pennsylvania, at an egg farm in Lancaster County, was announced two days after the state banned poultry shows at county and local fairs for 60 days.
For the first time this year, officials identified highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in domestic flocks in Montana and Colorado. With the discoveries, bird flu has been found in 25 states, from Maine and North Carolina and Texas and Wyoming since early February and at 159 sites totaling 24.65 million birds, mostly chickens and turkeys, according to USDA data.
In three weeks, outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have killed more than 4 percent of the egg-laying chickens in America. "Egg availability may be limited leading into Easter," traditionally a high-demand period for eggs, said analysts at rural lender CoBank.
For the first time, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was confirmed in Minnesota, the top turkey-producing state in the nation, said agricultural officials over the weekend. Some 14.6 million birds in domestic flocks have died of HPAI or in culling of infected herds to reduce the spread of the viral disease this year.
"High path" bird flu was identified in backyard flocks in central Illinois and eastern Kansas, said a USDA agency on Saturday. The outbreak in Franklin County, Kansas, about 55 miles southwest of Kansas City, was the farthest west that highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in a domestic flock this year.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza was identified in three more states — Missouri, Maryland and South Dakota — said the Agriculture Department. Since the first case was confirmed on Feb. 8 on a turkey farm in southern Indiana, HPAI has been found in 21 domestic flocks in 12 states.
President Biden is getting bad advice in painting the meat and poultry industry as a villain behind sharply higher grocery prices, said the president of the National Chicken Council in an essay published on the chicken-raising Delmarva Peninsula. "This administration has chosen to put politics above protein," wrote Mike Brown, the trade group president.
Grocery prices are climbing at their fastest pace since 2008, with beef, pork and poultry leading the way — up nearly 13 percent since last November, said the government's new inflation report. The White House pinned the blame for surging meat prices on meatpackers "taking advantage of their market power to raise prices while increasing their own profit margins."
Prices for many categories of food have been slow to retreat from pandemic-driven peaks, said the USDA. As a result, seafood and poultry prices throughout the year will be higher than usual, bolstering the USDA forecast that grocery prices will rise by 3 percent this year.
Grocery store prices for meat are declining after their springtime coronavirus surge, but more slowly than expected, meaning that shoppers will pay noticeably more at the meat counter this year than in 2019, said USDA economists. In the monthly Food Price Outlook, the USDA forecast meat prices will rise 6.5 percent this year, more than double their usual rate.
Cattle, hog, and broiler chicken producers should expect lower market prices during the first half of 2018 than they saw during the first six months of this year, said USDA economists.