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5 Missouri counties affected by avian influenza

Missouri Minutes: State suspends poultry auctions; hemp acres reported; grazing schools announced.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

April 5, 2022

3 Min Read
Baby chicks are swabbed to test for avian influenza
POSITIVE CASES: Commercial poultry flocks and backyard waterfowl tested positive for avian influenza over the past two months in the state. According to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, these infected flocks were depopulated.Merrimon/Getty Images

Two more Missouri counties have confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza, bringing the total to five.

Large-scale commercial chicken and turkey flocks, along with backyard waterfowl flocks, were depopulated in the past two months in Stoddard, Bates, Jasper, Lawrence, Ralls and Gentry counties, where HPAI is known to be deadly for domesticated poultry.

To help further stop the spread of this pathogen, the Missouri Department of Agriculture suspended all domestic waterfowl and waterfowl egg auctions, shows and swap meets through the end of May. However, it does not apply to days-old duckling sales at feed stores, as these ducklings are born in National Poultry Improvement Plan flocks, which are voluntarily tested by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, according to a statement by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Avian influenza in Missouri Table

In addition, all poultry auctions, shows and swap meets are suspended in counties containing control areas or surveillance zones, determined by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, until the virus has been eradicated. Poultry can still be sold and exhibited in unaffected counties, at this time, with strict biosecurity measures.

“The Missouri Department of Agriculture is working hard to contain and eliminate the virus,” Missouri state veterinarian Steve Strubberg said. “Restricting comingling of domestic waterfowl is crucial to stopping the spread of avian influenza in Missouri. And, as always, we encourage producers to tighten biosecurity protocols.”

For more information about avian influenza in Missouri, visit agriculture.mo.gov.

Hemp acres, processing facilities added

Missouri hemp growers reported planting 1,400 acres and harvesting 1,150 acres last year, according to the first National Hemp Report by USDA. In all, there were 54,152 acres of industrial hemp grown in the open across the nation. However, more hemp acres may be on the horizon as processing plants open in the Show-Me State.

Close up of hemp crop

ACRES ANNOUNCED: Missouri saw more than 1,000 acres planted in open air to hemp in 2021. The state has funding available to help increase processing facilities for industrial hemp.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture recently announced recipients of grant funding to expand processing capacity for industrial hemp fiber in Missouri. In all, four Missouri businesses received funding:

  • Midwest Natural Fiber LLC, Sikeston

  • Tiger Fiber Inc., Fenton

  • Hemp Solutions LLC, Lexington

  • Rockwater LLC, Union

The Missouri General Assembly appropriated $700,000 to help build Missouri’s industrial hemp-fiber processing infrastructure. Increased hemp-fiber processing capacity will create additional marketing opportunities for Missouri industrial hemp producers. The maximum award amount was $200,000, with a minimum 25% cash match required.

Planning forage grazing

The Missouri Forage & Grassland Council, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and University of Missouri Extension announce the southeast region Management-Intensive Grazing Schools for 2022. The events run for three days. Here are the locations:

Central region

  • Phelps County, Immaculate Conception Church, May 16-18, Gatlin Bunton, [email protected], 573-775-2135

  • MU Wurdack Research Center, Sept. 21-23, Gatlin Bunton, [email protected], 573-775-2135

East-central region

  • Tri-County Grazing School, Aug. 29-31, Gasconade County SWCD, 573-897-3797

  • Franklin County, May 3-5, Franklin County SWCD, Lori Nowak, [email protected]

Northwest region

  • University of Missouri Hundley Whaley Research Farm, June 21-23, Jim Humphrey, [email protected]

Northeast region

Southeast region

  • St. Francois County, Mineral Area College-North College Center Park Hills, May 24-26, Anthony Ohmes, [email protected]

  • Cape Girardeau County, Aug. 30 – Sept. 1, MU Extension Center Jackson, Anthony Ohmes, [email protected]

Southwest region

South-central region

  • West Plains (Spring), April 27-29, Howell County Extension Center, 417-256-2391

  • Hartville, May 10-12, Carol Ellis, [email protected], 417-741-6195, ext. 3

  • Alton, May 24-26, Oregon County Extension Center, 417-967-4545

  • Gainesville, Aug. 10-12, Ozark County Extension Center, 417-679-3525

  • West Plains (Fall), Oct. 4-6, Howell County Extension Center, 417-256-2391

For the latest grazing school dates, visit the Missouri Forage & Grassland Council website at mofgc.org.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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