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Egg production leads the nation

By Staff | May 15, 2009

Egg production is big business in Iowa.

The Hawkeye State has more than 80 major egg producers. The state’s approximately 57 million layers generate a remarkable 14.25 billion eggs each year, making Iowa the No. 1 egg-producing state in the nation.

The Iowa egg industry is a big purchaser of Iowa’s other agricultural products. The state’s layers consume 57 million bushels of corn and 28.5 million bushels of soybeans every year.

Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and California are the top five egg-producing states in the United States. Together, they account for 50 percent of this country’s egg production. In the nation as a whole, some 284 million egg-laying hens generate more than 211 million cases of shell eggs per year.

Americans don’t eat as many eggs as they once did. Even so, eggs remain a popular food choice and consumer demand is growing. Per capita egg consumption was 402 eggs per year at its high point in 1945. Today it’s in the neighborhood of 254 eggs per person each year and has been edging upward since the early 1990s.

Most of the nation’s egg production goes toward meeting that demand, but egg producers also make a positive contribution to our nation’s export economy. Eggs and egg products are sold worldwide. For example, during 2007, the United States exported 78.7 million dozen eggs with a value of $63.5 million. The value of processed egg exports in 2007 was about $74.2 million.

May is National Egg Month. The next time you consume this tasty product, enjoy the moment but reflect also on the egg industry’s importance to Iowa.

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