Iowa officials are asking Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to include egg producers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
“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,” the Iowa leaders in a letter to Perdue.
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.
“Market disruptions have negatively impacted almost all operations in Iowa, including egg producers. The liquid egg market saw a 68% price decline as sales to restaurants and hotels dried up during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
“Much of our state's egg production supports our commercial food service, and while many restaurants and other facilities have had to close or limit operations throughout this pandemic, our egg industry has seen a drastic drop in demand and as a result some have had to dump product. These hardworking folks need relief and assistance, and that's what we're fighting for and pushing USDA to provide,” said Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa.
“We are grateful to the Trump administration and USDA for the relief the CFAP has provided to our crop and livestock producers,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “Egg producers should also be included in the program since they have been greatly impacted and play a key role in our food supply and state economy."
Iowa is home to more than 58 million egg-laying hens and about 1 in 6 eggs consumed in the United States each year. The egg industry is responsible for as much as $2.6 billion in total economic activity, supporting 7,084 jobs and directly employing 2,398 people.
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