Brad Moline sleeps better these days. One year after avian influenza forced the Calhoun County turkey farmer to depopulate his turkey farm, he feels like things are back to normal.
A new normal, that is.
"Bird flu is certainly in the back of my mind. It doesn’t keep me up at night, but it’s in the back of your mind every time you do chores," said Moline, a Calhoun County Farm Bureau member who raises turkeys with his father, John, and his brother, Grant. The family has been raising turkeys since 1924.
Avian influenza was first identified on the Moline farm on May 19 when one of the farm’s employees walked into a barn to do chores and found 90 dead turkeys. The turkeys were 14 weeks old, just one month away from being marketed.
Moline’s farm was one of 77 premises in 18 counties that were struck by the disease during the spring of 2015. In the end, Iowa farmers were forced to euthanize 31.5 million birds because of the disease.
Iowa hardest hit state
Iowa was the hardest hit state, but was not alone. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says the H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)...