Hens Lost to Bird Flu and More Livestock Forage Disaster Aid
**Nearly 11.8 million U.S. egg-laying hens, three of every 100, have died in outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in less than a month, according to USDA data.
www.agriculture.com reports, laying hens account for most of the 17 million chickens, turkeys, and other domestic poultry lost to the first bird flu outbreak two years.
More than 50 million birds, mostly chickens and turkeys in Iowa and Minnesota, died 2014-15.
**Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley introduced an updated version of the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act.
Introduced in November, the updated legislation allows more regions, five to seven across the entire continental U.S., and then establishes minimum levels of fed cattle purchases made through approved pricing mechanisms.
The update retains the cash trade mandates included in the previous version of the bill.
**The USDA says ranchers with approved applications through the 2021 Livestock Forage Disaster Program, for forage losses due to severe drought or wildfire in 2021, will now get additional assistance.
They will soon begin receiving emergency relief payments from an additional $670 million offsetting increases in supplemental feed costs through the Farm Service Agency’s new Emergency Livestock Relief Aid Program.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says, livestock producers experienced catastrophic losses of available forage as well as higher costs for feed in 2021.