Iowa officials write Perdue about aid to egg producers
Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, all Republicans, asked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Tuesday to include egg producers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
Replying to a request from USDA for information on commodities that USDA has not covered, but have suffered a 5% percent or greater price loss between January and April 2020 and face additional marketing costs due to COVID-19, the Iowa leaders wrote, “COVID-19 has impacted our Iowa farmers, including our egg producers, whose eggs were destined for the liquid egg market. Because of the massive damage done to this industry as restaurants, schools, and other egg-buying businesses have closed over the past few months, we write today in support of their inclusion into the CFAP to keep these producers afloat until the pandemic abates.”
In a call to agriculture reporters Tuesday, Grassley noted that the Iowa egg industry, which has 58 million hens that lay one-sixth of the eggs in the country, is divided into two segments: shell eggs and liquid egg products. While consumers initially bought more shell eggs at the start of the lockdown, the price of egg products fell 68% because restaurants were closed, Grassley noted.
With nearly 70% of Iowa’s layer flocks producing for the liquid egg market, the COVID-19 market disruption has proved to be devastating to Iowa’s egg producers, the Iowa leaders said.