Several agencies are investigating four multi-state outbreaks of human salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry in backyards. The CDC reports 181 people have been infected with four strains of salmonella in 40 states with 33 people sent to hospitals as of June 29th. CDC testing has confirmed the outbreaks are linked to contact with live poultry from multiple hatcheries. Nearly 90 percent of the 95 people who became ill and were interviewed by the agencies reported having contact with live poultry in the week before their illnesses began. The outbreaks have not caused any deaths so far.

While U.S. producers work towards rebuilding cattle numbers after a prolonged drought, another drought has left Canadian producers in a similar situation with parched pastureland throughout the biggest beef-producing provinces in Canada. The country is the seventh largest exporter and has its smallest herd in 22 years. Beef processing plants are running at 74 percent of capacity, a seven-year low, forcing processors to pay a premium for animals to slaughter. Retail prices are the highest on record since 1995.