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Impact of poultry and egg production losses and poultry processing losses due to the avian influenza

Key findings for communities

  • As of May 11, 2015, avian influenza had been confirmed at 85 turkey and chicken farms in 21 Minnesota counties, resulting in the direct loss of nearly 5.7 million birds in the state.
  • Approximately 9 percent of all turkeys and 14 percent of all laying chickens were affected by the outbreak.
  • In 2014, the value of turkey production in Minnesota was $866.2 million. The value of egg production was $265.9 million.
    • Applying those figures to 2015, as of May 11, an estimated $113.6 million of poultry production had been lost in Minnesota.
  • Producers were not the only businesses affected by this incident. Their employees also had less household income to spend at local businesses.

About this study

In late winter 2015, avian influenza was discovered in a flock of commercial turkeys in Minnesota. After the first flock was infected, the virus spread rapidly. Farms with the disease lost not only the infected birds, but the rest of their flocks on the same farm as well. Poultry and egg barns needed to be disinfected over a period of time, meaning barns sat empty, further decreasing poultry and egg production.

University of Minnesota Extension conducted an Emergency Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) to quantify the ripple effects of the loss of $1 million in poultry and egg production showing that $1 million in direct losses will likely result in a decline of $1.8 million in economic output in Greater Minnesota, including $450,000 in lost farm and household income. This report also quantifies the ripple effects of the loss of 100 poultry processing jobs, showing that 100 lost jobs at poultry processing plants will lead to a loss of 210 jobs across Greater Minnesota’s economy, including $9.3 million in lost household income.

This analysis is offered as a quick and initial look at the immediate, short-term impacts of the avian influenza. It is intended to provide context for decision makers in the midst of this economic event. Extension recommends a more in-depth and complete analysis be completed once the avian influenza has been contained in Minnesota.

More about this report

Read full report (PDF)

Report updates

Read July 2015 analysis


Brigid Tuck, Extension senior economic impact analyst

Reviewed in 2015

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