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Bird flu outbreaks a growing concern amongst Iowa agriculture industry – KCRG

CENTRAL CITY, Iowa (KCRG) -Thursday the Iowa Department of Agriculture identified Buena Vista County’s 3rd confirmed case of bird flu. Thursday’s outbreak in the commercial turkey operation marks the 6th outbreak in Iowa since March 1st.
Wednesday the Iowa Department of Agriculture announced it would be canceling bird exhibits until the state has gone 30 days without a new case of the bird flu.
“It’s really important that producers of all kinds of farmers have folks that have backyard chickens that you’re watching for trying to one, prevent contact between wild and domestic birds,” said Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.
Naig says it is unclear if this will have an impact on consumers, but is urging farmers to proceed with caution.
Iowa Farmer John Airy says a disruption with poultry products would compound the pain for consumers already facing rising grocery prices.
“You’ve got beef prices running crazy. So some of that beef demand is going to go down, it’s going to go to other proteins, it’s going to go to chicken, it’s going to go to Turkey, and if there is less chicken and less turkey. You know, those prices push up too,” said Airy.
Airy says as a corn farmer this concerns him too. Chickens and Turkeys are large consumers of corn and soybean.
“Every bird that’s not eating, that’s a few pounds of corn that are not getting eaten, we’ll take that times 100,000 or quarter million or a million birds. That all adds up,” said Airy.
More than 6 million birds in Iowa have already been euthanized due to bird flu.
“The CDC and public health tell us and assure us that there is no human health risk here. And there’s no food safety issue,” said Naig.
Copyright 2022 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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