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Iowa leads the nation in egg production, producing more than the second and third largest states combined. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that approximately 52.9 million layers in Iowa produced 14.5 billion eggs in 2011. This level of production consumes 49.2 million bushels of corn and 452,200 tons of soybean meal to feed the layers and 4.2 million bushels of corn and 38,500 tons of soybean meal to feed the growing pullets. In addition, the egg industry is an important value-added activity in Iowa, directly employing an estimated 3,700 hatchery, production, and processing workers in 2011 and generating over $156 million in direct payroll. The multiplier impacts on the Iowa economy are even more impressive, with total labor income of $424 million, nearly 7,960 total jobs, and an economic boost of $657 million.


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Economic Importance of the Iowa Egg Industry