MINNEAPOLIS — Sen. Amy Klobuchar has been meeting with Minnesota turkey producers to hear their concerns about the bird flu outbreak, and says she plans to speak with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack soon to discuss the federal response to the crisis.

The total of farms hit across the Midwest reached 15 Thursday with confirmation of a second case in South Dakota. But Minnesota has been struck the hardest with nine farms affected by the H5N2 virus, which is deadly to poultry.

Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, says her discussions with turkey farmers this week have focused on the availability of federal funds to reimburse producers for part of their losses, economic losses from lost production, why this is happening in Minnesota now, and how it can be prevented.