Poultry industry recovers

Ray Mueller
Now Media Group


Based on the egg production and layer hen statistics for April reported on May 24 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Wisconsin's poultry sector has more than recovered from the H5N2 avian flu virus that struck a year ago, mainly in the Upper Midwest states.

Compared to April of 2015, Wisconsin's production of 132 million eggs this year in April was an increase of 11 percent. The average of 2,351 eggs per 100 layers during the month was up from the 2,327 a year ago.

The state's total of 4.926 million egg layers in flocks of at least 30,000 birds during April was up from 4.375 million a year ago. For the count of 'all layers on hand,' Wisconsin's total was up to 5.615 million compared to 5.114 million a year ago.

For the United States, the production of 8.208 billion eggs during April was only slightly behind the total of 8.294 billion in April of 2015. Egg layers in flocks of at least 30,000 were down by 1.154 million to 292.887 million while the all layers on hand category was down by 828,000 to 361.128 million.

Iowa, which was the state hit hardest by the virus in the spring of 2015, alone accounted for and more than the slight national decreases reported for April. Its decreases were 216 million for egg production, 6.988 million for egg layers in flocks of at least 30,000, and 6.864 million for all layers on hand.

Among the other top egg production states, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Ohio also reported cutbacks in the April comparisons but Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Texas, California, and Illinois had increases that more than offset the losses in the other states which were affected by the flu virus a year ago.