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Northey says Iowa is financially ready if avian flu strikes again

by Ben Nuelle

You might be getting spring fever with the warm weather we’ve had lately and with spring, comes migrating birds. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says Iowa is financially ready if avian influenza strikes again.

“I think we are. No producer wants to go through or would say they could handle it without some real costs.

Northey says they have federal support along with other resources from the state to manage an outbreak if it happens.

“The federal government is still going to support the effort of this disease moving around. We’ve also set setup structurally where we have better communication, certainly all of the resources we need at our university for the diagnostic lab and we’ve set up some understanding within the Ag avian community,” Northey says.

He has high hopes producers will make it through spring without an outbreak.

According to a report from the Iowa Farm Bureau back in August, Iowa took an economic hit of about $1.2 billion from the last epidemic. More than 30 million hens and 1.5 million turkeys died from avian flu last spring. The outbreak affected 77 farms and cost Iowa 8500 jobs.

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