Tricia Braid

Jun 25, 2015  |  Today's News

Illinois Corn continues to monitor the avian influenza situation, as do many others across the country. To date, no cases have been confirmed in Illinois. Poultry represents the single largest livestock user of corn as feed, with hogs coming in a close second. In Illinois, the poultry industry is expected to use 8 million bushels of your current corn crop. Keep reading for the most up to date information available on this issue.

Historically, there have been only three recorded outbreaks of the avian influenza in the United States: in 1924, 1983, and in 2004.

The 1924 and 2004 outbreaks were quickly contained and eradicated.

The 1983 outbreak was more significant and resulted in the depopulation of 17 million chickens, turkeys, and guinea fowl in primarily the northeastern portions of the U.S.

Source: Newton, John and Todd Kuethe. (2015, May 8). An Outbreak unlike Any Other: Perspective on the 2014-2015 Avian Influenza. Retrieved from http://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/2015/05/perspective-on-2014-2015-avian-influenza.html

The H5N8 virus originated in Asia and spread rapidly along wild bird migratory pathways during 2014, including the Pacific flyway.

In the Pacific flyway, the H5N8 virus has mixed with North American avian influenza viruses, creating new mixed-origin viruses.  This is not unexpected.  

These mixed-origin viruses contain the Asian-origin H5 part of the virus, which is highly pathogenic to poultry.  The N parts of these viruses came from North American low pathogenic avian influenza viruses.

USDA has identified two mixed-origin viruses in the Pacific Flyway: the H5N2 virus and new H5N1 virus.  

The new H5N1 virus is not the same virus as the H5N1 virus found in Asia that has caused some human illness.  

CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections to be low.  Detailed analysis of the virus is underway in cooperation with CDC.”

Source: H5 Viruses in the United States. Retrieved from  http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/h5/

USDA APHIS Update on Avian Influenza Findings

Poultry Findings Confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories

Source: USDA APHIS | Animal Health 

United Egg Producers Report on Avian Influenza on Egg Farms, Week of June 8, 2015

Of commercial egg farms, 25 farms have tested positive for AI, totaling more than 35 million laying hens in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

This calculates to about 12 percent of all layers in the U.S. and more than 30 percent of the layers dedicated for the egg products business.

Chad Gregory, CEO United Egg Producers has stated to NCGA the following:

“Consider, for example, only the amount of corn and soybeans consumed by the 35 million hens on affected farms.  During the course of a year, these hens would consume approximately 30.1 million bushels of corn and 210,970 tons of soybean meal, equivalent to 8.9 million bushels of soybeans.  Clearly, HPAI will have an impact well beyond the egg industry."

Many national articles are stating current turkey losses due to HPAI represent between seven and eight percent of total birds.  It appears that the percentage is based on turkey production numbers from the 2012 Census.  The National Turkey Federation has stated to NCGA that U.S. turkey annual production is 240 million birds; resulting in current industry losses are approximately three percent.   


Feed use (May 27, 2015)







All Poultry

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Source: The ProExporter Network 

USDA Secretary Vilsack stated in an interview by NPR regarding the impact of the avian influenza outbreak:

“The reality is that there may be surplus of certain parts of chicken, because our export markets have been impacted and affected by this. Roughly 20 percent of chicken exports are now basically banned, based on decisions made by countries either to ban all poultry exports from the U.S. or exports from specific states that have been impacted by all this…”

“…But on the egg side, you're liable to see over time increased costs for a dozen eggs, and increased costs for goods that basically use liquid eggs in the development or processing of foods…”

Source: Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2015/05/31/410924073/secretary-of-agriculture-bird-flu-poses-no-health-issue-to-humans

The latest trade data for April generally showed relative improvement in meat trade despite a variety of continuing challenges. 

The strong U.S. dollar continues to work against U.S. meat exports and support increased imports. 

The avian influenza outbreak continues to grow and impact poultry trade; while high prices and limited supplies are the biggest challenges for the beef sector.

Despite bans or restrictions in most markets for U.S. poultry, broiler exports in April were fractionally higher than year ago levels holding year to date broiler exports to a decrease of 8.4 percent compared to last year…  Year to date broiler exports to China and South Korea are down over 90 percent along with zero exports to Russia (banned in 2014 prior to avian influenza). 

Turkey exports were down 27.2 percent in April contributing to an 11.4 percent year to date decline compared to last year.

Pork exports were up 10.9 percent in April, cutting the year to year date pork export decrease to 7.4 percent.

April U.S. beef exports were down 3.6 percent year over year, the smallest monthly decrease so far this year. 

Year to date beef exports are down 8.4 percent compared to 2014. The looming threat of tariffs related to Country of Origin Labeling adds to the prospects for weaker exports to Canada and Mexico in the coming months.

April U.S. beef imports were up 27.5 percent compared to one year ago, the smallest monthly increase year over year so far this year.  Year to date beef imports are up 40.9 percent compared to one year ago… 

Source: Peel, Derrell S. (June 8, 2015) The latest meat trade data is encouraging. Retrieved from http://tscra.org/news_blog/2015/06/08/cow-calf-corner-latest-meat-trade-data-encouraging-what-to-do-with-the-bull-after-breeding-season/

Exposure of poultry to migratory waterfowl and the international movement of poultry, poultry equipment, and people pose risks for introducing AI into U.S. poultry.

Once introduced, the disease can be spread from bird to bird by direct contact. AI viruses can also be spread by manure, equipment, vehicles, egg flats, crates, and people whose clothing or shoes have come in contact with the virus.

AI viruses can remain viable at moderate temperatures for long periods in the environment and can survive indefinitely in frozen material.

Source: USDA Ask the Expert. (May 19, 2015) Retrieved from http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=ASK_EXPERT2

 The American Feed Industry Association has communicated to NCGA grain handling facilities have a BIOSECURITY PLAN, developed with and by individual feed facilities, keeping controls in place to secure quality of feed grains.

APHIS June 16 provided a Part of the Epidemiologic Report


Updated 06.19.15