HPAI crosses species barrier again. Now it’s humans.

by | Apr 2, 2024 | 5 Ag Stories, News

Yesterday was an interesting day in the cattle complex and in agriculture in general. It started with us discussing the fact that we were seeing High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) or bird flu crossing the species barrier into dairy cattle. We featured a discussion we had with Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig. A lot of the message was that this was happening in remote herds in Texas and Kansas. After we published that story, we learned of another crossover in Idaho.

The message from Secretary Naig was clear. We are still gathering data about it. There doesn’t seem to be any long-term damage, nor has there been a need to cull any of the affected animals. Producers are urged to keep an eye on the situation and confer with their herd veterinarian if they have any questions or concerns. Then midday yesterday, we got word that HPAI crossed the species barrier for a second time in a few short weeks.

This time it was a human, and they caught it from a dairy herd in Texas.

Robin Schmahl is with AgMarket.Net, and he joined us on yesterday’s edition of AgMatters PM to discuss the markets, this is what he had to say about the situation that began to develop yesterday.

This of course sent the cattle market into a tailspin, that may likely continue today, or it may not. We know that the markets are very volatile and we never know just how long one headline can run a market sharply higher or lower. However, Schmahl says we may be feeling the ripple effects for a while this time.

Schmahl also commented that hogs were the lone bright spot in the markets yesterday and that this market has been looking for an opportunity to find some strength against a cattle market that has just been so strong over these past few years. This may be the break that hog producers have been needing, even though they would prefer it not to come on the backs of another producer.

As of now, the effects of HPAI on humans are still being researched, and we will have to see how this plays out.