The state’s turkey industry is expected to benefit greatly from China’s announcement last week that it’s lifting the ban on U.S. poultry imports.
Iowa Turkey Federation Executive Director Gretta Irwin explained after avian influenza devastated flocks in this country in 2015, China shut down imports.
“Thirty-three other countries also had bans but China was the last one to lift that ban and allow for products to come in, so this is very exciting for the Iowa turkey industry and for the potential of adding more of our turkey products,” said Irwin.
Irwin said at the time the ban was imposed, China was Iowa’s second-largest export market. She said their consumers are particularly fond of dark meat such as wings, legs and thighs. The country also brings in a significant amount of turkey feathers to be made into costumes and fishing lures.
Iowa has more than 130 turkey farms. Many are second and third generation family operations.