Local turkey farmers keep prices consistent despite supply chain crisis; ‘We haven’t had a problem, yet.’

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CARTHAGE, Ind. — Nearly every Thanksgiving dinner fixing from pumpkin pie to the turkey itself is set to be more expensive this year compared to last as the country deals with a supply chain crisis.

Experts say consumers should plan on seeing fewer small turkeys at higher costs as labor market data shows grocery store prices are up nearly 10% across the board. 

Despite the price hikes, experts don’t believe a shortage will follow, although they still recommend checking off your shopping list early though – just in case. 

“We’re seeing some shelves that are already out of stock,” IU Kelley School of Business Economist Kyle Anderson said. “We’re so used to always being able to go to the grocery store and getting what we expect to be there… stocking issues have been big really over the last, you know, six to nine months and we’re gonna see that continue through the holiday season but it’s not directly linked to the current crises. I don’t think it’ll be a Thanksgiving without turkey… we’ll just pay a little more for it.”

But that’s not all you’ll be paying extra for. 

“We’re just seeing higher prices and, you know, certainly in a lot of areas in food and really across the board,” Anderson said. “There have just been a lot of disruptions in the supply chain in producing things, I know a lot of focus is on turkeys and a lot for the processing plants are having either labor shortages or just challenges in getting workers and products and getting everything going and getting it out to the grocery stores.”

These issues facing consumers stretch beyond the table and back to the farm, as prices there have similarly increased. 

“Corn and soybean prices have definitely gone up… over the past year really,” Tyner Pond Farm Manager Nicki Macey said. “But luckily we haven’t had a huge problem with getting staff, and so I think we’re really fortunate in that way that we have people here ready to work all the time so we’ve been able to keep our prices consistent.”

Tyner Pond Farms operates a small operation turkey farm in Carthage along E. 500 S. southeast of Greenfield. With only 225 turkeys, each leads a more natural life, living outdoors foraging for grasses and insects before their, “one really bad day” according to Macey.

And that day is fast approaching…

“You know, really this is the end for us. We’re wrapping up, getting ’em all ready to go, fattened up and then… we’re done with it really.”

Tyner Ponds birds sell for around $50, which is higher than large retail stores, and they typically weigh in around 15-20 lbs., which is exactly the size experts say will sell out the fastest this season. 

But when it comes to farm fresh fowl, Macey says you get what you pay for.

“Because of their lifestyle, our turkeys are typically a little bit smaller because they’re raised on pasture. They can move around quite a bit, so they don’t gain weight near as quickly,” Macey said. “In general that kinda just makes them a little bit healthier and the meat tastes a little bit better than different places.”

Whether you buy your bird from the farm or the freezer, experts say you’d be wise to get it – and all your other must have items – early, but don’t forget the reason you got them in the first place…

“It’s still Thanksgiving right? And, you know, it’s gonna be a good dinner and a good opportunity to get together with family regardless of whether you have some of those items or not,” Anderson said. “Thanksgiving’s the time to spend time with family and friends and people that you’re close with and in my family… that just so happens to be centered around the turkey, you know?”

Tyner Farms turkeys will be dressed and ready for pickup November 18th. You’ll be able to order them on their website: frozen or fresh.

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