Farm Bill Talks at World Ag Expo and Cage-Free Egg Challenges
**The nation’s 2023 Farm Bill took center stage at the World
Ag Expo in Tulare recently, as farmers engaged with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and members of the House Ag Committee.
At a special committee session, farmers and agricultural groups, including the California Farm Bureau, highlighted challenges facing America’s largest agricultural economy.
Challenges include water shortages, supply-chain disruptions and rising input costs.
**The annual production of milk in the U.S. during 2022 was 226 billion pounds, 0.1 percent above 2021.
Revisions to 2021 production increased the annual total to 35 million pounds.
Revised 2022 production was down 158 million pounds from the previous USDA publication.
Annual total milk production has increased 12.5 percent since 2013.
The average number of milk cows on U.S. farms in 2022 was 9.4 million head, a half-percent lower than last year.
**A new study by United Egg Producers and the United Egg Association shows the transition to cage-free eggs will increase costs and reduce profits … and producers may not be able to meet the 2026 deadline.
The study says, “Conversion from conventional to cage-free housing is costly for both egg producers and final consumers.”
There remains a lot of uncertainty about the extent to which egg producers will be willing or able to continue transitioning to cage-free housing and meet retailers’ cage-free pledges.