Multiple factors behind rise in egg prices

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 11:16 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - If you go to the grocery store, it’s hard to miss that egg prices are up.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows egg prices are the highest since 2015.

Experts say it’s almost a perfect storm of circumstances right now that is causing the price hike.

“This too shall pass. Now how long it’s going to take, that’s the million dollar question,” said Clemson University Extension Specialist of Agribusiness Dr. Adam Kantrovich.

The price increase comes at the same time a rise in cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) across the nation.

“This easily could surpass 2015 as our largest animal health disease outbreak,” said Clemson University Poultry Program Director Dr. Julie Helm.

Nearly 38 million birds across 34 states have been killed so far.

“That disease in poultry is fatal,” said Helm.

Dr. Kantrovich says the price increase has to do with more than just HPAI though.

It’s a combination of multiple factors, also including the war in Ukraine, increased labor costs, and more.

“Having this many crises all at one time. Either back-to-back or one not even finished and the next one coming in is, I’m not going to say new territory, but it’s unfamiliar territory,” he explained.

For many farmers, their concern lies with the HPAI outbreak.

While a case of the disease was confirmed in a wild duck in South Carolina earlier this year, there have been zero chickens affected in the state as of May 12.

To keep it that way, the emphasis is on disease prevention steps.

“Poultry birds separated from wild duck and geese and their watery environments. So separation from ponds, lakes, swampy areas,” said Helm.

For people with just a few chickens in their backyard, you’re going to want to follow the same rules for separation.

As for birdfeeders, Dr. Helm says those can stay up outside your house but if you have chickens put them up away from where the chickens are.