Egg production on upward trend

Ray Mueller

MADISON – The production of eggs in both Wisconsin and the United States continues to increase, according to the monthly report for April by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Wisconsin field office.

The production of eggs in both the state and the nation continues to increase.

Even with one less day, Wisconsin's production of 146.8 million eggs during April was up by 11 percent from March of this year and by 3 percent compared to April of 2016.

The state's total of 6.036 million layers in April was an increase of 7 percent from the 5.615 million a year ago. Of them, 5.362 million in the table egg layer category, for which the statistics represent the production from flocks of at least 30,000 birds.

For the United States, the April production of 8.643 billion eggs was an increase of 4 percent from the month in 2016. Of the total, more than 7.546 billion, or 87 percent, were for table eggs while the remainder were for hatching.

Iowa, which is the leading egg production state, accounted for a great majority of the increase in the April comparisons. Its production of nearly 1.307 billion eggs during the month was 222.4 million more than a year earlier. Its total of 54.723 million layers was up by nearly 5.5 million from April of 2016.

Indiana replaced Ohio for second place among the states for layer numbers and egg production. It added more than 2.5 million layers from a year ago for a production for 779.7 million eggs in April while Ohio dipped by more than 3.2 million layers to a new total of 30.585 million with a production of 718.8 million eggs in April.

Other states in the top five for April were Pennsylvania with 27.781 million layers and 671 million eggs and Texas with 21.639 million layers and 468.9 million eggs.

For the average number of eggs per 100 layers, Wisconsin's 2,432 was up by 76 from April of 2016 while the average for the United States was up by 37 to 2,311 for April.

Production in the top states is mostly for table eggs. States in the South such as Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Mississippi have a significant portion of their production going to eggs for hatching.