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What is today's news? | Monday, March 28, 2022

In today’s roundup, get caught up on the latest news of avian influenza, soaring food prices, and the cost to buy a bull.

Avian Influenza

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.

And today, the USDA announced 12 new cases in 11 counties, bringing the total number of birds affected to over 14.7 million.

Anyone involved with poultry production, from the small backyard to the large commercial producer, should review biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds, says the USDA. The department has a list of tools producers can use to help with biosecurity measures.

Food Prices Increase

Prices for common elements of the U.S. diet, from poultry and dairy to fruits and vegetables, are rising at double or triple their usual rate, said the government in forecasting the highest annual food inflation rate in 14 years.

The Agriculture Department said food prices would rise an average of 5% this year, an abrupt two-point increase from its forecast a month ago.

“An ongoing outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza could contribute to poultry and egg price increases through reduced supply or decrease prices through lowered international demand for U.S. poultry products or eggs.” All three factors — war, interest rates, and bird flu — will be monitored for their impact on food, said the USDA agency.

Bull Sales

Gene Johnston recently researched auction sales for breeding bulls by purebred cattle breeders. All sales were in the first few weeks of 2022, from North Dakota to Alabama, from Angus to Simmental, and from just 20 bulls on the smallest purebred ranch to 250 bulls at the other end.

The average price for young bulls varied from $3,216 on an Oklahoma ranch to $8,500 in Nebraska. The average of the averages was $5,707 per bull.

Minus the few elite sales to other purebred breeders (which skews the average upward), the average for just commercial bulls is about $5,000.

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