The numbers are staggering.
Two flocks of laying hens in Dixon County, one 1.7 million head, the other 1.8 million wiped out by avian influenza. Both are in the clean-up stages.
One half million head of pullets destroyed in Dixon County.
Two flocks of pullets in Dixon County are being destroy voluntarily; one 700,000 head, the other 200,000.
Assistant State Agriculture Director Bobbie Kriz-Wickham says a flock of three million in Knox County has been quarantined, but she’s optimistic tests will continue to show the disease hasn’t taken hold there.
“Yes, so we’re very, very hopeful that that will continue to show up with negative tests,” Kriz-Wickham tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The flock of laying hens in Knox County were placed under quarantine based on a presumptive positive test two weeks ago. Subsequent testing has not indicated avian influenza has taken hold. More testing will be done.
Nearly all the problems in Nebraska have been confined to Dixon County in extreme northeastern Nebraska; nearly all of the flocks owned by one producer.
With no new cases discovered, Kriz-Wickham is cautiously optimistic the threat to Nebraska’s billion dollar poultry industry has subsided.
“Definitely cautiously optimistic and hopeful that with the warm weather and more summer-like temperatures that will help us move into that fully optimistic category,” Kriz-Wickham says.
It is believed the hot weather has helped kill the virus and checked its spread.
Kriz-Wickham says Nebraska producers have responded quickly to the threat. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture is emphasizing all producers to go through the bio-containment protocol to keep bird flu from spreading.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [1 min.]