Nationwide Egg Shortage Impacting Local Grocers
November 23, 2022 | View PDF
Friday, Nov.11, a mother from Bainville went to Walmart in Williston looking for eggs for her holiday baking and there were none, not even the expensive, organic brands. Monday, Nov. 14, she drove to Sidney with the same result at the grocery store. There just were no eggs.
This was predicted, to a degree. Preppers from across the nation have been spouting their warnings for years that we need to be more self-sufficient as individuals and families. The reason varies from person to person, but the message is the same, stock up and be self-sufficient cause you might not always be able to get food at the stores. In the summer of 2021, after the May 7 cyberattack that left several gas stations on the East Coast without gasoline and the May 30 cyberattack on JBS Foods, the world's largest meat supplier, a resident of Sidney even went to city hall in an attempt to have chickens legalized in city limits with the same message, we might not always be able to get food at the stores.
The reason is simple, supply and demand. As Sam Simard, The Market Dairy Manager, Sidney, stood in front of a partially empty egg case, on Nov. 17, the day of his most recent egg delivery he said, "Demand is up, supply is down, and the price is high. The eggs I got this morning will all be gone by tomorrow. As soon as the word gets out." Carolina Sanchez, Reynolds Market Dairy Manager, Sidney, stood in front of their recently filled egg case, on Nov. 18, and said, "We are having to stock three to four times a day. I use several different distributors, but they have limits on how much can be purchased by stores at a time." Both agreed the biggest cause is Avian Flu. In January 2022, HPAI was found in wild birds, and in Feb., it was found in domestic poultry. Simard said, "Millions of laying hens had to be killed." Marley Manoukian of Richland County's MSU Extension agent agrees. She said, "It is spread by wild birds. It was first found in Montana flocks in April 2022 and North Dakota in the summer." According to the CDC's website, http://www.cdc.gov, as of Nov. 18, 46 different states have had HPAI cases in poultry in the US but, according to http://www.liv.mt.gov, as of Nov. 18, there have been no cases of HPAI in Montana east of Billings, no wild cases in Richland County, and no cases in poultry west of Tioga, ND.
That mother from Bainville eventually did find eggs for her family but it was tough and she paid way more for them than she would have just a year ago. Grocery stores in the MonDak and across the nation are doing their best to offer eggs for their customers. Many, including the two in Sidney, are getting egg shipments outside their usual freight days.