The planning commission of Millard County, Utah, gave approval to plans submitted by Cal-Maine Foods’ Delta Egg Farms, which hopes to expand its facility in the county.
During a recent commission meeting, Delta Egg Farms General Manager Scott Patton explained plans to double and triple the egg production capacity at the facility, which is located near the community of Sugarville. The planned expansion would add five buildings to the facility create between 100 and 125 additional jobs, according to a report from the Millard County Chronicle Progress.
Patton explained the need to expand the capacity there due to an anticipated increase in demand for eggs from cage-free laying systems, as California, Oregon and Washington have passed laws that will outlaw the production and sale of eggs from caged hens.
While at the meeting, Patton answered questions regarding water usage, truck traffic, increased poultry feed needs and environmental concerns. Due to a lack of available corn, the company will need to continue to ship grain in from Colorado and some Midwestern states.
Cal-Maine presently has rights for more water usage than it feels it needs, Patton said.
With the approval of the planning commission, the matter is next scheduled to go before the Millard County Commission, which has a meeting scheduled for September 10. However, it was uncertain whether Cal-Maine Foods’ expansion plans would be discussed at that meeting.
The company hopes to have all necessary approvals in place before pouring concrete for the new structures.
Cal-Maine Foods is the largest egg producer in the United States and the world. According to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, it sold nearly 1.04 million dozen shell eggs during its 2018 fiscal year, which ended at the conclusion of May 2018. The company has a flock of 40.25 million hens.
When Cal-Maine Foods announced the results of the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019, CEO Dolph Baker said it was making the necessary investments in its operations to expand its cage-free capacity. In addition to the project in Utah, cage-free egg expansion projects are also under way in Texas and Florida.