Bird flu takes $300 million bite out of Minnesota economy

Bird flu has already cost Minnesota poultry producers at least $113 million, according to a new analysis by the University of Minnesota. The study examined the economic impact of the deadly virus that's killed nearly 8 million birds across the state.

Related industries push the overall economic loss to more than $300 million in Minnesota. Job losses in poultry processing and trucking have also been attributed to avian influenza. At last count, 88 Minnesota farms in 21 counties have been affected.

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When the avian flu struck one of Greg Kangmo's turkey flocks it took out 34,000 birds one month ago. Even after government relief, he estimates his overall loses will equal several hundred thousand dollars.

"It looks to me like to me things are going to have to go really well to be in there at the end of June. So that's pretty significant down time," he said.

After cleaning and disinfecting, Kangmo is required to keep that barn clear for 21 days. After that, he has another extreme challenge ahead of him. He's not sure where he's going to get poults.

"You always wonder if the next phone call is going to be the next piece of bad news," he said.


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