Skip to main content

As financial stress mounts, impact of bird flu spreads beyond farms

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The financial fallout from the fast-moving avian influenza striking Minnesota poultry farms is spreading as fast as the virus itself.

The Mankato Free Press reported trouble from the disease is "radiating out to businesses that serve the industry," including trucking firms. J&R Schugel in New Ulm, one of the biggest trucking firms in the state, said business related to the poultry industry began falling at the first of the month.

Schugel has 600 trucks and delivers liquid and whole eggs and frozen and fresh poultry. The company's vice president Clay Merches estimated the poultry-related business was down about 80 percent. He said the company's drivers are sitting idle longer; he couldn't predict how long the slowdown might last.

"The providers are saying they're doing everything they can to improve the situation," he told the newspaper. "We have a lot of great relationships with these customers and they've really been impacted."

According to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, 84 farms in 21 Minnesota counties had been hit by the flu as of May 8.

Last week, a shortage of eggs was noted at Cub Foods, although the grocery chain said it would turn to different suppliers to replenish inventory and prevent further gaps in availability. Jennie-O has laid off hundreds at its Faribault plant; since the H5N2 virus reduced the number of turkeys available, the company is moving to a single shift.

Meanwhile, the St. Cloud Times reported emergency mental health services are being provided to farmers facing "stress and emotional turmoil" due to the outbreak.

The state has activated a team of behavioral health specialists to offer mental health assistance to farmers in Stearns, Meeker and Kandiyohi Counties, the three counties hit hardest by the avian flu, the newspaper noted.

The Behavioral Health Medical Reserve Corps has volunteers all over the state that can deploy where needed. Team members include licensed mental health professionals, social workers, school counselors, chaplains and others who know the local resources and people.

The staff is helping train those who might have contact with others impacted by the emergency, including feedlot officers, health care providers or first responders, the St. Cloud Times said.

Next Up

Intersection in Rochester.

Boy dies in motorcycle crash in Rochester

Police are investigating as of Friday afternoon.

Tab2FileL (13)

Numerous severe storms likely in Minnesota Friday night

Watch the video for the full details with meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.

court room

Teen pleads guilty in shooting death of 15-year-old girl in Columbia Heights

Damico Jamal-Tokyo High will receive a sentence in juvenile court, along with an adult prison sentence.

Screen Shot 2022-04-25 at 11.00.01 AM

Walz wants to use surplus money to send direct payments to Minnesotans

It's a renewed effort from a previous proposal from Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan's supplemental budget in January.

Ron Johnson

Jan. 6 committee says aide for WI senator tried to give fake elector info to Pence

The attempt was discovered through text messages in the ongoing public hearing held by the Jan. 6 select committee.

Stock U of M sign

Minnesota state colleges boosting tuition again by 3.5%

The Minnesota State system's Board of Trustee's approved the increase Wednesday.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, June 24

The next daily update will be provided Monday, June 27.

Pro choice rally

Walz, Jensen react to historic Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade

After voting to overturn Roe, conservative Justice Clarence Thomas has hinted contraception and same-sex marriage protections should follow.

16362 County Rd 81, Maple Grove, Minnesota - October 2021 (4)

2-year-old killed in crash on County Road 81 in Maple Grove

The crash occurred Thursday evening on County Road 81.

police tape

BCA issues new details about St. Michael standoff, shooting

New details say a St. Cloud police officer struck the suspect with gunfire.

Screen Shot 2022-06-23 at 2.21.45 PM

92-year-old driver killed in rural Scott County crash

The crash happened around 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

Screen Shot 2022-06-24 at 7.29.06 AM

Big-time rain totals flood Highway 10 in central Minnesota

More rain and storms are expected Friday and Saturday morning.

Related