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Flu

USDA studies insurance to cover losses from bird flu

WASHINGTON �� The arrival of cooler weather in the upper Midwest has poultry farmers worrying about the return of bird flu, which last spring wiped out more than 48 million chickens and turkeys nationwide. The U.S. Department of Agriculture spent $191 million to contain the outbreak though the total cost is closer to $700 million once cleanup, disinfection, and vaccine research are included, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in July. That doesn't cover farmers' lost sales. It took John Burkel more than three months to repopulate his turkey barns near Badger, Minn., after the flu claimed 14,000 of his birds in a single week. He'll have just two-thirds of his...

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