Affect of Avian Influenza on Corn Price

by John Berry, Ag Marketing Educator, Penn State Cooperative Extension

I’ve had a couple discussions with producers about the impact of High Path Avian Influenza in the upper Midwest, and the price of corn. The thinking goes something like; with over 50 million birds destroyed the corn that would have been consumed is now on the market looking for another home. How might this impact farm prices?


I took a little time and went through some statistics on poultry, corn available and corn used for feed to try and get at a reasonable response to this concern. The result of this research is shared here.


Without much fancy calculating, it appears to me that given the total amount of corn available to the market, the amount of corn consumed by various sectors of the market and the relatively low numbers of affected birds; I expect the Avian Influenza outbreak of 2015 to have little if any noticeable impact on the national price of corn.


Of course, this uses some major assumptions including the disease continuing a decrease in infection rates and the bushels of corn both on-hand and coming to market following the 2015 harvest. We’ll see what does actually occur.

VFD Final Rule

On June 3, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the final rule amending its animal drug regulations regarding veterinary feed directive (VFD) drugs. FDA's current VFD regulation established requirements relating to the distribution and use of VFD drugs and animal feeds containing such drugs. This amendment is intended to improve the efficiency of FDA's VFD program while protecting human and animal health. To view the final rule visit

PA Agriculture Department Suspends Avian Competitions, Activities
As the threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or H5N2, intensifies nationwide, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is continuing efforts to minimize the risk of the disease spreading here, should it be found. As such, acting Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced today that the department is suspending all avian competitions at state-approved agricultural fairs in 2015, as well as the 2016 Pennsylvania Farm Show.


In 2014, the poultry and egg industry was responsible for $13 billion in total economic activity throughout Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association. With this in mind, Redding said proactive precautionary measures are necessary to protect the industry and animal health.


The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is working proactively with the United States Department of Agriculture (UDSA), other government agencies, and the state's poultry industry to prepare for an outbreak of H5N2. The most important prevention technique is for anyone who owns or works with poultry to apply sound biosecurity measures – whether on a commercial farm, in the wild, or at a hobby/backyard farm.


The department is requesting that fairs put in place alternative poultry-based competitions to highlight the accomplishments of youth poultry competitors. Penn State Extension has recommended establishing educational poster competitions or birdless showmanship to keep youth engaged in the poultry industry and provide a solution for completing their poultry projects.


For additional information about avian influenza, call the department’s Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services at 717-787-4734. For more information about bio-security measures, visit

Biosecurity Signs - Order Today

Looking for an indisputable way to designate that your operation is a biosecure area and that trespassing will not be tolerated? Look no further! PennAg has 'Biosecure Area' signs available at a low cost. Download order form.

Save the Date / Register Today
North American Manure Expo - July 14 - 15
The 2015 North American Manure Expo themed, "Professionalism in Nutrient Management," will be held July 14-15 in Chambersburg, PA. For additional information or to register online, please visit

PennAg Agronomic Products Council / Seed Council Summer Tour - August 13
The PennAg APC/Seed Council Summer Tour will be held Thursday, August 13. Visiting Furmano's in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, and Boyd Station in Danville, Pennsylvania, the event is sure to please! Save the date and stay tuned for further information and registration details!

Ag Progress Days 2015 - August 18-20
Join us at Ag Progress Days (APD), August 18-20! PennAg staff will be located in the AgChoice Building, promoting eggs, pork, and soybeans.

APD is Pennsylvania's largest outdoor agricultural exposition, featuring the latest technology and research exhibits, educational programs, and guided tours. Sponsored by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, the event is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, nine miles southwest of State College, PA, and is one of only three agricultural exhibitions in the country sponsored by a major university.

Exhibits showcase the latest in Penn State research, as well as information on best management practices and changing regulations in the agricultural industry. For more information, visit

July 3
PennAg Office Closed
(Happy Independence Day)


July 9

PennAg Board of Directors Meeting

10 a.m.

(Hilton Garden Inn, Hershey)

July 14-15

North American Manure Expo

(Chambersburg, PA)


July 15

PEQAP Oversight Committee Meeting

9:30 a.m.

(Room 309, PA Dept. of Agriculture)


August 12

Poultry Health Committee Meeting

9:30 a.m.

(Room 309, PA Dept. of Agriculture)


August 13

APC/Seed Council Summer Tour

(Furmano’s; Boyd Station)

August 18-20

Ag Progress Days

(Russell E. Larson Ag Research Center, PA Furnace)


August 27

PennAg PAC Sporting Clays Shoot

(Central Penn Sporting Clays, Wellsville)


Additional Calendar Items

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