Urban sprawl, high costs drive down CA egg production

US - Karen Courtemanche might be getting new neighbors, and she hears their stench is unbearable.
calendar icon 14 May 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
"Urban encroachment is something that significantly impacts any farmer"
Doug Kuney

Courtemanche lives a mile and a half from the site of a proposed 900,000-chicken farm, but she and other residents aren't putting out any welcome mats.

"I'm sorry, we just don't want them here," said Courtemanche, who lives in Lathrop, a city of about 15,000 some 60 miles south of Sacramento.

As California's agricultural heartland becomes increasingly suburban, the state's egg production has fallen to its lowest level in 50 years. Residents like Courtemanche--as well as developers of a nearby 11,000-home subdivision under construction--don't want the stench of egg farms near their homes.

The higher costs associated with consumer pressure for more humane, cage-free eggs is another factor, experts say.

"The state has grown and grown, and urban encroachment is something that significantly impacts any farmer," said Doug Kuney, a poultry expert with the University of California, Riverside. "As the farmer fights off development, development fights off animal agriculture and all that comes with it."

Source: High Plains Journal

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