Sunrise Farms, a chicken farm in Iowa that lost 3.8 million birds to avian influenza, is selling its stocks of feed on the local market, according to a report.

This is a sign that the highly pathogenic avian influenza affecting the U.S. will further weaken already-low grain prices.

Sunrise Farms had about $4 million worth of corn in storage when its operations were hit with the virus.

The average chicken eats five pounds of grain per month. The death toll from the outbreak has exceeded 38 million birds. The deaths, along with months of empty barns in quarantine, means an estimated 25 million bushels of corn or 710,000 tons of soybean meal are no longer in demand.


The extra feed supplies will hit grain markets that already were under pressure. Corn futures have fallen 8.8 percent this year, soybeans have fallen 7.1 percent, and soybean meal has fallen 15.9 percent.

Sunrise reportedly had 1 million bushels in storage. Its sales, along with the drop in demand, could push the local price of corn down 20 cents, or 6 percent. That is not enough to affect the Chicago Futures market or overall supply and demand, but sellers in close proximity to chicken farms affected by avian influenza could feel some pain in at harvest.

To keep informed about the avian influenza situation in North America and across the globe, bookmark WATTAgNet’s avian influenza page. Also, see the avian influenza tracker map to keep current on the latest confirmed cases of the virus in North America.