Summer seems to have emerged prematurely from a cold and wet winter without the fanfare of spring. It is hoped that all your evaporative pad and nozzle cooling systems have been tested and are functional and that high temperature alarms and emergency generators are online. With the end of a sun spot cycle and the tail of the El Niño we could be in for a long hot summer, without allusion to Tennessee Williams.

This edition incorporates a range of topics. Flock health as reviewed at the North Central Avian Disease Conference is represented in the interpretive summary of articles dealing with egg production. My colleague and friend of many years Dr. Gregg Cutler shares his views on the welfare movement.

Dr. Cutler has represented the needs of egg producers at forums including the AVMA and Congress for the past two decades and was deeply involved in opposition to California Proposition 2 - his home state.

Advances in grading and processing eggs are considered in a feature article. We are fortunate that two large companies are active in R&D, manufacture and servicing of installations for our plants. The level of competition benefits producers through acquiring equipment with the potential to improve efficiency and quality.

The customary news items with appropriate commentary are included in this edition supplementing the electronic edition of Egg Industry and the WATT Web site which has the advantages of immediacy and brevity.

Please contact me if you have any suggestions for articles or wish to comment on any aspect of Egg Industry.