The worst outbreak of bird flu in U.S. history is causing egg prices to rise dramatically.
Have you noticed something changing at the grocery store?
ABC reports egg prices could rise 75 percent due to the worst bird flu outbreak in U.S. history. We already don’t like the sound of this.
According to The Wall Street Journal, almost 40 million birds have been killed as a result of the outbreak –– more than double the toll of the last major outbreak during the 1980s. The current losses represent roughly 10 percent of the country’s egg-laying flock.
And the issue has also affected products that use eggs as an ingredient.
A market reporter told CNN the wholesale price of eggs sold in liquid form, mostly used by bakers and restaurants, rose from 63 cents per dozen to $1.52 in April.
The Midwest has been hit particularly hard. KQDS reports a state of emergency has been declared in Minnesota, where 6 million birds have been euthanized.
It’s even worse in Iowa, the biggest egg-producing state in the country. CNBC reports the virus has resulted in the death of more than 25 million chickens and turkeys in that state alone.
Large, concentrated populations of birds have contributed to the spread of the virus. The Wall Street Journal reports the average farm in the industry holds 1.5 million birds. When one hen house becomes infected, farms often euthanize all the others nearby to contain the virus.
A chief executive for one of the nation’s largest producers told The Wall Street Journal consumer demand for low costs has led the industry to house more chickens in fewer farms. But having fewer producers can be disastrous when one gets the virus.
And the outbreak is causing hefty price tags outside the grocery aisles, too. The U.S. government has set aside close to $400 million to help pay for cleanup and compensate farmers for lost stock.