Egg producers continue to rein in growth, with June table egg layers down 2 percent from previous-year levels, the same as on May 1. Egg-type hatching layers were up 2 percent from previous-year levels, with all layers down 1 percent.

Of the top-10 states in layer numbers on operations with 30,000 or more layers, all were down from 2006 during May, or showed no change. Iowa, no change; Ohio, down 8 percent; Indiana, down 2 percent; Pennsylvania, down 6 percent; California, down 1 percent; Texas, no change; Nebraska, down 5 percent; Minnesota, down 3 percent; Georgia, down 5 percent; and Florida, down 4 percent.

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Gene Gregory, president and CEO of the United Egg Producers, says that high feed costs have encouraged producers to reduce the nation’s flock size by 6 million hens compared to a year ago. In addition, he says, UEP is hearing that producers are not building new cage layer houses or even remodeling those with depreciated equipment because of concerns that legislation may ultimately ban egg production from cage facilities.

The Urner Barry Midwest Large quote on June 21 was 95 cents, compared to 61 cents in 2006 and 64 cents on the same date in 2005. “Even with higher feed costs, producers may be in a profitable position at this time,” Gregory says in UEP’s United Voices.