Unfortunately, consumers can expect to pay more for their Thanksgiving meals this year. The American Farm Bureau Federation is reporting a significant increase for turkeys alone.
“Some of your items such as your frozen, basted turkeys commonly used for Thanksgiving dinner have increased in price between 28% and 32% compared to this time last year,” Bernt Nelson, Economist, said.
Boneless, skinless turkey breast prices soared to $6.70 per pound which is a 112% increase over this time last year. Farm Bureau said this is the highest price in history.
The previous record-high price was $5.88 per pound set in 2015 during the avian influenza outbreak.
“If a frozen turkey is what you’re accustomed to getting, go ahead, get that a little bit earlier if you have room for it in the freezer,” Rebecca Joniskan, President of the Indiana State Poultry Association, said.
Experts said there will be enough turkeys to go around this year, but another round of the highly pathogenic avian influenza is driving up prices. The state’s poultry association say this sickness has not impacted turkeys in Indiana since last February, but the influenza is in 41 states currently.
“It is widespread,” Joniskan said. “But all that said, we do not expect that disease incident to affect the supply of turkeys at Thanksgiving.”
The state poultry association and the farm bureau remind consumers higher costs of birds do not mean more money is going to farmers.
“All the input costs have gone up, really across the board,” Joniskan said. “Farmers are by no means immune to that. So the cost of fuel contributes to the cost of their feed and all the things that go into producing turkeys.”
The Farm Bureau Federation anticipates releasing its annual Thanksgiving cost survey in mid-November. That’s when consumers will know precisely how much an average meal will cost.