Ag News: California Chicken Disease
**Virulent Newcastle disease has been confirmed in a commercial chicken operation in California. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says it’s the first report of the disease in commercial poultry since 2003.
Agnetwest.com reports, the facility is now under quarantine as APHIS and the California Department of Food and Agriculture evaluate the birds,
The disease is not a food safety issue, as no human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry, but it is highly contagious and fatal to birds.
**The latest Ag Barometer shows things might be looking up for producers. The Purdue University barometer for October has a reading of 136, 22 points higher than September, which holds the lowest reading since 2016.
According to agweb.com, the index of current conditions rose 19 points, and expectations rose 24 points.
Principal investigator, James Mintert says the bigger story is the fact that although the index rebounded, it’s well below where it was last spring before the trade wars erupted.
**Despite another year of low profit margins for farmers, rising interest rates and economic uncertainty, the
farmland market was flat to even slightly higher in 2018.
Agweb.com reports, the first half of 2018 showcased strength for values as limited land was sold.
That brought support to the broader market in spite of rainy conditions and Chinese trade and tariff issues that sank prices and optimism.