The post-Easter decline in the UB price has been sharper and more rapid than in previous years reducing margins for generic eggs to break even or below in some regions. Fortunately at the time of writing there appears to be some indication of stabilization. According to projections by the Egg Industry Center, we will not achieve triple digit prices until November.

The summary of statistics represents the lead article in this issue. The need for voluntary restraint in expansion and careful management of placement and depletion programs is self evident. The establishment of the Egg Industry Center has extended the sterling efforts of Don Bell over decades and will be invaluable in future planning chick placement and depletion cycles.

The VIV Exhibition in Utrecht provided a valuable insight into trends in the EU. It is important to follow their research and practice as there is an obvious trans-Atlantic movement of technology, regulatory issues, consumer needs and welfare considerations. Foreknowledge of influences which may potentially change our industry will be critical to strategic decisions on future production practices. Issues which will be on the front burner include the potential in the U.S. for enriched cage systems, the eradication of Salmonella , the role of independent egg producers and directions in breeding.

The imminence of the FDA Final Rule is of concern to the entire industry. Failure by the agency to issue a guidance document promised since late 2009 denotes a lack of competence on the part of administrators and does not auger well for the implementation of the Program. Issues with the Final Rule will be considered in the subsequent edition of Egg Industry.