In Iowa, one of the largest U.S. egg processors has started to buy foreign supplies for the first time. Elsewhere in the Midwest, a free-range egg producer says it may build automatic car washes to scour vehicles accessing its 60 farms. And nationally, agricultural workers are being urged to get flu shots.
Less than six months after the country’s worst-ever outbreak of avian influenza killed 48 million birds and cost taxpayers almost $1 billion, the American poultry industry is remaking itself to prepare for the likely return of the disease. The virus thrives in chilly weather and is carried across the country by wild birds that are just now beginning to migrate south.