Turkeys will cost Hoosiers more this year thanks to inflation, avian flu

Unfortunately, consumers can expect to pay more for their Thanksgiving meals this year. The The American Farm Bureau Federation reports a significant increase for turkeys alone.

“Some of your items, like frozen turkeys that are typically used for Thanksgiving dinner, are up between 28% and 32% compared to this time last year,” said Bernt Nelson, Economist.

Boneless, skinless turkey breast prices rose to $6.70 per pound, a 112% increase over this time last year. The 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 bird flu outbreak.

“If frozen turkey is what you’re used to getting, go ahead and get it a little early if you have room in the freezer,” said Rebecca Joniskan, president of the Indiana Poultry Association.

Experts say there will be plenty of turkeys this year, but another round of highly pathogenic bird flu is driving up prices. The state poultry association says the disease has not affected turkeys in Indiana since last February, but the flu is currently in 41 states.

“It’s spread out,” Joniskan said. “But all that said, we don’t expect that disease incident to affect the Thanksgiving turkey supply.”

The state poultry association and farm bureau are reminding consumers that higher bird costs don’t mean more money is going to farmers.

“All input costs have gone up, really across the board,” Joniskan said. “Farmers are by no means immune to it. So the cost of fuel adds to the cost of their feed and everything that goes into turkey production.”

The Farm Bureau Federation expects to release its annual Thanksgiving spending survey in mid-November. Then consumers will know exactly how much an average meal will cost.

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