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MADISON

Having staged a major recovery from the avian flu virus that struck just over a year ago, Wisconsin's egg producers ramped up their egg layer numbers and egg production by significant percentages in the comparisons for May of 2016 and 2015, according to the monthly report by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Compared to a year ago, the total of 5.976 million layers on hand in Wisconsin during May was a 29-percent jump from a year ago. For table egg layers in flocks of more than 30,000 birds, that number was up to 5.108 million compared to 3.76 million in May of 2015.

For total egg production, Wisconsin's total of 135 million eggs in May was an increase of 26 percent from the 107 million in May of 2015. To avoid disclosure of date from individual operations in Wisconsin, no number for table egg production was published for May in either 2016 or 2015.

Wisconsin's increases would have been even greater had the average number of eggs per layer not declined slightly during May. That number was down to 2,329 from the 2,378 in May of 2015 and by 1 percent from April of this year despite the extra day in May.

National production

The nation's total egg production of 8.516 billion for May was an increase of 5 percent from a year ago. Of that total, 7.361 billion were table eggs while the balance of 1.155 billion were hatching eggs.

Continuing a recovery from the effects of the avian flu, Iowa boosted its total of table egg layers in flocks of more than 30,000 to 48.723 million compared to 43.007 million in the wake of the flu outbreak in May of 2015. Its total egg production for May was up by 19 percent from a year to 1.205 billion eggs this year.

In the table egg category, Ohio's total slipped by 3 percent to 31.156 million layers, and its total egg production of 766 million was down by 23 million in the May comparisons. Indiana boosted its table egg layer total by 8 percent to 29.278 million and its egg production by 82 million to a new total of 745 million for May.

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