Tag Archive | South Dakota

50,000 birds to be killed due to another outbreak of avian flu in South Dakota, USA

Bird Flu

Another turkey farm in South Dakota has tested positive for bird flu.
 
South Dakota State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven says a Moody County operation of about 50,000 birds has a presumptive positive test for avian influenza.
 
This latest farm brings to 10 the number of affected operations in South Dakota. In total there have been more than 1.7 million birds affected in the state.
 
Oedekoven says they’re still waiting to learn whether the farm is affected with the H5N2 strain that’s swept through the Midwest.
 
Crews will soon begin euthanizing the birds to prevent the spread of the virus.
 
It’s been about two weeks since the state has had a confirmed case of bird flu. Oedekoven says cases are still popping up in the region, but are becoming less frequent.
Courtesy of washingtontimes.com

1.3 MILLION birds to be killed due to avian flu in South Dakota, USA

Bird Flu

An eastern South Dakota farm with 1.3 million egg-laying chickens is the first in the chicken-production business in the state to be infected with a deadly flu virus despite efforts to prevent it, state and farm officials said.
 
Flandreau-based Dakota Layers, which accounts for nearly half of the state’s almost 2.7 million egg-laying chickens, reached out to the state veterinarian after it noticed an unusual number of dead birds in one of its nine barns.
 
A South Dakota State University lab confirmed the presence of the highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus. Officials hadn’t confirmed yet whether it was the H5N2 strain. If so, then the virus will have led to the deaths of more than 33 million chickens and turkeys in the Midwest, primarily at farms in neighboring Minnesota and Iowa.
 
South Dakota State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven said crews would begin euthanizing the chickens after they determined how best to handle the largest outbreak the state has seen thus far.
 
Dakota Layers’ Chief Executive Officer Scott Ramsdell said in a statement Thursday that Dakota Layers had taken “extensive biosecurity measures” over the last two months to prevent an outbreak in their barns.
 
“Unfortunately, as many poultry farms are discovering, even our extraordinary measures proved ineffective in preventing the spread of avian influenza into one of our barns,” Ramsdell said.
 
Dakota Layers produces more than 90,000 dozens of eggs daily and ships about 70 percent of its eggs to California. Agriculture officials have stressed there is no danger to the supply and very low risk to humans.
 
Oedekoven said it was disappointing to see a large-scale operation lose it birds after taking all the appropriate precautions.
 
“It’s a big loss, it’s a big hit,” he said.
 
Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture were on site to evaluate the operation and work with the state in figuring out how to proceed. Bird flu has already been found at eight turkey farms in South Dakota — affecting almost 500,000 birds — but none of this magnitude.
 
The hens would likely be humanely euthanized with carbon dioxide gas, Oedekoven said, but the state hasn’t yet decided how to dispose of the carcasses. Officials have primarily been burying turkey carcasses in addition to composting them.
 
“It’s not pleasant work, but we’ve had great cooperation with our industry and we hope they can make it through this,” Oedekoven said. “We’ll proceed as best we can and continue to hope for the end of this plague.”
Courtesy of insurancejournal.com

1.2 Million birds dead due to avian flu, ‘scientists puzzled’, in Midwest USA

Bird Flu

A bird flu outbreak that has puzzled scientists spread to three more Midwest turkey farms, bringing the number of farms infected to 23 and raising the death toll to more than 1.2 million birds killed by the disease or by authorities scrambling to contain it.
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed on Saturday that the H5N2 strain of avian influenza was found among 38,000 birds at a commercial farm in Kandiyohi County in west-central Minnesota. It’s the third confirmed outbreak in Kandiyohi, which is the top turkey producing county in the country’s top turkey producing state.
 
This was after the USDA confirmed late Friday that bird flu was found at two more South Dakota farms, saying it had infected a flock of 53,000 turkeys at a farm in McCook County and in a flock of 46,000 turkeys at a farm in McPherson County.
 
South Dakota State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven said crews were working Saturday to begin euthanizing any birds not killed by the highly contagious strain to prevent the virus from spreading.
 
Once those birds have been destroyed, the 23 farms in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas will have lost more than 1.2 million turkeys, a small fraction of the 235 million turkeys produced nationally in 2014. Canadian officials also confirmed earlier in the week that a turkey farm in southern Ontario with 44,800 birds was hit, too.
 
Ken Rutledge, the CEO of Dakota Provisions, the only commercial turkey processing plant in South Dakota, said the more than 200,000 turkeys affected in the Dakotas so far account for about 5 percent of his total annual production.
 
“It probably will not impact our ability to service our customers, but is a serious impact in terms of lost volume at our plant and, obviously, is a severe impact to the growers themselves,” Rutledge said.
 
In Minnesota, turkey producers have now lost over 900,000 birds.
 
Scientists suspect migratory waterfowl such as ducks are the reservoir of the virus. They can spread it through their droppings. They’re still trying to determine how the virus has managed to evade the strict biosecurity that’s standard practice at commercial turkey farms. The virus can be carried into barns by workers or by rodents and wild birds that sneak inside.
 
Dr. Beth Thompson, assistant director of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, said the reason Minnesota has had so many cases has a lot to do with the fact that it’s the country’s top turkey producing state, and that it has a myriad of ponds and lakes that are attractive stopover places for migrating waterfowl such as ducks.
 
“We have to think about what Minnesota is. It’s the Land of 10,000 Lakes bringing the wild waterfowl into Minnesota, and we’re also number one in turkey production. I think that answers the question, that we do have a lot of turkey barns out there, and that is why we are seeing the infection rate we are in those facilities,” she told reporters Friday.
 
Officials stress the risk to public health is low and that there’s no danger to the food supply. No human cases have been detected in the U.S.
 
Because trucks and equipment provide a potential way to carry the virus onto farms, Minnesota Gov.
Mark Dayton signed an executive order Friday lifting seasonal weight restrictions for poultry feed trucks and trailers, and for emergency equipment being used in the response. His order said tightening biosecurity by reducing the number of trips to poultry farms is critical to lowering the risk of introducing the virus to non-infected farms.
 
While South Dakota’s taken a drubbing in the last two weeks, Oedekoven, the state veterinarian, said tests on poultry living in the 10-kilometer quarantine zones of the state’s first two farms have almost all come back without any signs of the disease. They’re still awaiting a few results.
 
And he said for the time being, no other possible cases are pending confirmation in the state.
 
“If we can get a couple nice days of sunshine here and have everybody just wash their boots and blow their nose, we’ll hope for the best,” he said.
Courtesy of minnesota.cbslocal.com

Storms, Snow, Tornadoes Strike Many Parts Of America

Severe Weather Alert

It may be a lovely Mother’s Day in the Rose City, but for much of the rest of the U.S., it’s not quite so nice.
 
Another round of severe weather took aim at the Great Plains and the Midwest on Sunday, while a tropical storm spun off the coast of South Carolina and more than a foot of snow fell in southern Colorado and the Black Hills of South Dakota.
 
Tropical Storm Ana was just off the coast of South Carolina on Sunday morning and was weakening with top sustained winds of 45 mph.
People gather on the beach to watch the big surf from Tropical Storm Ana in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina (Matt Born/The Star-News via AP)
Sparsely populated ranching and farming communities in North Texas were left to clean up Sunday after tornadoes touched down in the area a day before, leaving one person dead and another in critical condition, authorities said. Cisco Fire Department spokesman Philip Truett said the two people were near each other when the tornado struck.
 
At least six buildings were damaged south of Cisco, which is about 100 miles west of Fort Worth, as well as six others near Lake Leon, Truett said.
 
“The homes that I’ve seen, there are just maybe one or two walls standing,” Eastland County Judge Rex Fields, who also serves as the county’s emergency services coordinator, told The Associated Press on Saturday.
At the Fountain Creek R.V. Park, the waters from a swollen Fountain Creek were nearly touching the bottom of the bridge in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday, May 9, 2015. (Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette via AP)
A strong line of storms moved through the Dallas-Fort Worth area Sunday morning, forcing significant delays and a total of 100 flight cancellations at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field Airport. The storms moved into Oklahoma and Arkansas in the late morning.
 
Farther north, a late-season snow fell in parts of the Rockies, western Nebraska and western South Dakota.
 
National Weather Service meteorologist Kyle Carstens said between 10 to 18 inches of snow was on the ground Sunday morning in the Black Hills, and totals could reach 20 to 24 inches by the time the system moves out. Rapid City, South Dakota, had 8 to 11 inches, accompanied by 20 to 30 mph winds.
 
Nearly 18 inches of snow fell in southern Colorado, a state that also saw hail, flooding and tornado warnings over the weekend.
A man clears off his car after about two inches of hail fell on Manitou Springs, Colorado, during a large thunderstorm Saturday, May 9, 2015. (Michael Ciaglo/The Gazette via AP)
Courtesy of oregonlive.com

Up to 2 feet of snow possible in the mountains of Wyoming, USA

Snow Alert

A potent spring snowstorm threatened to snarl traffic on interstate highways from Colorado to South Dakota, including a stretch of Interstate 80 across southern Wyoming that was the scene of two big weather-related pileups last month.
 
After a week of soggy weather in the central Rockies, forecasters predicted rain would transition to heavy snow by Mother’s Day. Up to 2 feet was forecast in the mountains of Wyoming and Colorado, and more than 1 foot was possible in the Black Hills.
 
Nine to 13 inches was forecast for Casper Mountain; 6 to 12 inches was forecast for high-elevation cities including Cheyenne.
 
The Wyoming Department of Transportation was monitoring the storm and preparing its plows but not making any plans to close interstates just yet, spokesman Dave Kingham said Friday.
 
“More often than not, it’s a question of visibility than any amount of snow. Or a combination of poor visibility and ice and poor conditions,” Kingham said of what it takes to close a highway.
 
The storm could affect travel along I-80 and I-25 in Wyoming, I-70 in Colorado and I-90 in northeast Wyoming and western South Dakota.
 
Slick conditions and poor visibility factored into two recent pileups on I-80.
 
On April 20, a fiery chain-reaction wreck 18 miles west of Laramie on I-80 involved more than 60 vehicles and killed two people. The wrecks happened in dense fog and light slush and shut down I-80 for 100 miles in both directions.
 
The pileup happened four days after one involving about 60 cars and trucks on I-80 about 15 miles west of Cheyenne. Three people were hospitalized from those wrecks in blowing snow.
 
Forecasters this time predicted a classic upslope storm in which moisture funneled westward from the Great Plains would fall first as rain, then snow, on east-facing slopes.
 
Some rain will turn to snow at high elevations overnight Friday but most areas will see rain changing to snow Saturday afternoon and evening, said Richard Emanuel, a Weather Service forecaster in Cheyenne.
 
“Conditions will probably be pretty nasty out there tomorrow night into early Sunday,” Emanuel said Friday.
 
The storm could drop more than 1 inch of liquid precipitation to some areas, he said.
Courtesy of trib.com

53,000 turkeys to be killed due to avian flu in South Dakota, USA

Bird Flu

53,000 turkeys to be killed due to avian flu in South Dakota, USA

Courtesy of islandpacket.com

Plane Crashes Into Wind Farm Covered in Fog, Killing Four, South Dakota, USA

Plane Crash Alert

A single-engine plane crashed into a South Dakota wind farm after flying through fog and low-hanging clouds on Monday, killing all four passengers on board. 
 
National Transportation Safety Board authorities found the wreckage at the South Dakota Wind Energy Center, where 27 turbines tower 213 feet tall, not counting the blades. One of the turbines was damaged, but the heavy fog has kept investigators from inspecting the scene, according to Syracuse
 
This is not the first time a plane has crashed into a wind farm–in 2008 near southeast Minnesota, poor weather caused the pilot of a 1948 Cessna 140 to lose control while trying to fly around wind turbines. 
 
Funeral homes confirmed the deaths of the 30-year-old pilot, Donald J. “D.J.” Fischer, and of cattlemen Logan Rau and Brent Beitelspacher. Another funeral home declined to provide information on the fourth victim.
 
The fatal crash deeply affected the ranching community and Gettysburg, South Dakota. 

Snowfall Record Has Been Broken In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA

Assuming that the Sioux Falls Airport records 4 inches or more of snowfall before midnight (and we are already around 2.6″ as of 4:00 PM), this will mark a new record for the fewest number of days between the last 4+” snowfall in the Spring and the first 4+” snowfall in the Fall. This year will only be 197 days, which would break the old record of 203 days set in 1970, and would be a full 100 days shorter than the average of 297 days for the period of record since 1893.