Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University Releases Egg Cost Study

Eggs in processing plant
Eggs in processing plant.

AMES, Iowa — The Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University has released a study that seeks to fill an 18-year-old gap in information important to the U.S. egg industry.

The study helps egg farmers analyze their costs of washing, weighing, packaging and transporting their eggs. 

“We call it the processing, cartoning and transportation, or PCT study,” said Maro Ibarburu, associate scientist and business analyst for the Egg Industry Center (EIC). “The results tell us that egg farmers typically spend 43 to 49 cents for every dozen eggs on these costs.”

The study can be found at and was launched in part due to interest from industry organizations. 

“The data we collected from late 2018 shows that this cost has increased 80% during the last 18 years,” Ibarburu said. “While that may seem like a lot, given the changes in regulations and regular inflation, a cumulative 3.3% per year is not unreasonable.”

The last study was completed in 2000, by the late Don Bell of the University of California–Davis. His work covered California egg farmers and their costs. Because that was the only data available, the entire U.S. industry has used it ever since.

“EIC is happy to help arm today’s egg farmers with current, scientifically-based information to help them advance their operations,” Ibarburu said. 

The Egg Industry Center was established at Iowa State in 2008. Its mission is to add value to the egg industry by facilitating research and learning for egg producers, processors and consumers through national and international collaboration. To find more information on the center, visit