Shop Local! Egg Prices the lesson of bird flu, rising feed costs and corporate greed

Alamogordo Conservative Daily
Convergence of corporate monopolies, Bird flu and rising feed cost hurt consumersPhoto byPurdue University

The large corporations of corporate farms and distribution of products via the limited number of large corporate grocery stores that have cornered the market such as Walmart, have continued to put pressure on the American consumer.

When we shop local money stays in the local community. When we shop corporate money flows to Arkansas and overseas.

The lesson of eggs…

Egg prices are a good example and indicator of what happens when you have a convergence of corporate greed, sick flocks and a shortage of feed also significantly rising in price.

Egg prices continued to be high and after months of inflation, eggs suddenly became a bit cheaper — but don’t expect them to stay that way.

The cost of eggs in the U.S. has been on a precipitous rise since last fall, but inflation data show that the average price tumbled by 7% in February.

Suddenly, the average price of a dozen large, white, Grade A eggs fell from $4.82 in January to $4.21 in February and have fluctuated in March. Eggs peaked at around $6.24 a dozen. Imported and processed eggs are found at national big box stores and less. Local and farm fresh eggs are running $4.59 to $6.52 on average. Eggs at local farmers markets that are farm fresh not processed average $6.00 to $6.24
According to the United States Dept. of Agriculture, egg prices are predicted to increase37.8% in 2023, but the range of predictions spans from 18.3 to 62.3%.
Photo byBureau of Labor Statistics

That dramatic increase in egg prices, economists say, largely stems from a disease called highly pathogenic avian influenza — known as bird flu.

The disease is contagious and lethal in birds. It killed a record number, including egg-laying hens, in 2022.

In past years, the virus has typically disappeared after the spring. It reappeared in the fall last year, crimping egg production while heading into peak demand season for eggs around the winter holidays, experts said.
Photo byUSDA

There also hasn't been a new confirmed case of avian flu among commercial table-egg farms since December, giving suppliers some time to recover.

With local farmers a feed shortage and feed prices went up significantly also adding pressure to the expense.

But Farm Action, a farmer-led advocacy group, claims the "real culprit" is a "collusive scheme" among major egg producers to fix and gouge prices at the major department stores, the organization said in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission.

Doing so has helped corporate farm producers "extract egregious profits reaching as high as 40%," according to the letter, issued Thursday, which asks FTC Chair Lina Khan to investigate for potential profiteering and "foul play."

Regardless prices are up, shop local and support local farms and small businesses rather than the large corporations. Inflation and prices via pressure on the consumer by a monopoly of large corporations continues
Photo byBureau of Labor Statistics

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