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ERS: “Recent Trends in the Cage-Free Egg Layer Inventory”

In its monthly Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook report yesterday, the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) indicated that, “According to the USDA, Monthly Cage-Free Shell Egg Report, the cage-free table egg layer flock (nonorganic and certified organic) added more than 10.5 million layers in the first 6 months of this year.

As a result, the percentage of cage-free layers to the average egg layer inventory increased from 36.0 percent in January to 38.2 percent in June.

“The growth in the cage-free layer flock aligns to the goals set up by the States with cage-free legislation2022 (California, Massachusetts, and Nevada), 2024 (Washington and Oregon), 2025 (Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, and Utah), and 2026 (Rhode Island).”

Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: August 2023, LDP-M-350, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, August 17, 2023

ERS noted that, “A closer look at the data shows that most of the layers were added to the nonorganic cage-free flock, with fewer additions to the organic egg laying flock. The same report estimates the cage-free layers’ productivity. The estimated data shows that, starting late 2021, cage-free lay rates have been moving mostly above or at similar levels to the lay rates in the overall table egg laying flock. This is a departure from the trend previously observed.”

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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