Home 5 Ag Stories Can we reinvent egg production? (Part 3)

Can we reinvent egg production? (Part 3)

Source: Wikimedia Commons

We are now on to part three of our look into the questions being asked concerning going “cage-free” with Iowa egg production. Today, we look at the environmental questions being asked. I promise we will get to the chickens and the eggs, very soon.

Audio: Profit Matters 9-25-18 

We have discussed the need for a definition of what “cage-free” is going to mean. Yesterday, we talked about the cost of changing production methods for producers. The fact of the matter is retro-fitting existing setups could be more expensive than building new. This leads us to today’s topic of the environmental questions of these new facilities. We are in a day and age where farms are being challenged for being nuisances, no matter if they were operational before neighbors moved in or not. So, the effects these facilities can have on those around them must be considered. Dr. Hongwei Xin of Iowa State University expounds on this topic.

Xin highlights the fact that when we say, “environment”, we also mean the environment inside the barn. This is part of Iowa State’s mission.

It is these considerations producers will have to weigh in the coming years. Iowa Poultry Association President JT Dean tells us that obtaining operational permits for a cage-free system actually requires a lengthier process than the standard system now in place.

Dean stresses the need for everyone to have an open dialogue in this effort. It will make the transition easier.

Of course, you can’t talk about the environment without bringing up bio-security.

If you missed the first two installments in our Cage-free saga you can them here and here.