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Egg Production On The Rise In Wisconsin

More Producers Are Looking To Expand, Experts Say

The Farmstrs (BY-ND-NC)

Egg production in Wisconsin is rapidly expanding, just one year after the avian flu outbreak.

The state produced 135 million eggs last month, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s 26 percent higher than production in May 2015.

Part of the dramatic increase comes from last year’s avian flu outbreak. Last spring, Wisconsin saw a sudden drop in production after avian influenza affected several producers in the state.

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But University of Wisconsin Extension poultry specialist Ron Kean said it’s important to look at trends in the state’s egg production before the outbreak.

“Some of the large producers were already sort of in the process of expanding prior to the avian influenza outbreak,” Kean said.

Most producers have recovered production numbers from the outbreak and are back to looking at ways to expand their operations, Kean said.

“There are some companies that are expanding their cage-free operation with a lot of the changes in marketing that are going on,” Kean said.

He estimates that 20,000 to 40,000 new hen houses have been built across the state. Wisconsin’s climate and easy access to grain make the state a good location for more egg production, he said.

Despite low prices, Kean said demand for eggs continues to grow nationally, as more fast food restaurants expand their breakfast options and consumers demand more cage-free and organic options.

National production came in at 8.52 billion eggs, up 5 percent from 2015.

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