I can only hope it's the same $11.99 for 50# of layer crumbles as its always been, but I have a sneaking suspicion the price will have gone up.
Why? The latest story in USA Today (courtesy Google News alters, I don't subscribe) titled "Buyers shell out for eggs as producer costs rise."
What has driven egg prices up 35% in the last twelve weeks?
Yes, we're only dealing with small-scale feeding here in our own backyard, so any cost increase will not hit us too hard.
Just about everything, says Thomas Elam, president of FarmEcon, an agricultural consulting firm in Carmel, Ind. Start with the cost of chicken feed, which consists of about 57% corn and 26% soybeans. The rest is animal fats and minerals, such as calcium, which keep eggshells strong.
The cost of corn and soybeans isn't chicken feed these days. Start with the cost of fertilizer needed to grow the crops, up 27.1% the past 12 months, in part because of rising energy prices. A big part of the cost of producing potash, a fertilizer ingredient, is the price of natural gas, up 24.3% the past 12 months.
Corn prices also have soared because of global demand from China and India. And, because of biofuel mandates from the government and the high price of gasoline, corn is increasingly being used to make ethanol fuel. The more corn that goes into making ethanol, the less that's available for chicken feed — and that drives up prices, too.
Soybean prices have risen even more than corn prices in the past 12 months, in part because many farmers switched from planting soybeans to corn last year. Many farmers are rotating back to soybeans this year, Elam says, in part because it costs less to produce an acre of soybeans than an acre of corn. But that, in turn, will push up corn prices this year.
Given the fact I haven't even bothered to look at the price of eggs in the store recently, I can only wonder how much money we're saving having our own hens.
I'll do the research and follow up in a post later this week.