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What’s Behind The Price For Your Thanksgiving Bird

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U.S consumers are eating more turkey throughout the year. It use to be something folks saved for the holiday season, but that’s changed.

“It’s all the turkey breasts, turkey luncheon meats, turkey hams, that get sold throughout most of the year.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture Economist, Dave Harvey, says that’s what’s behind it, though the sale of whole birds continues to dominate the last quarter of the year.

If you’ve already gotten your thanksgiving bird this year you’ve probably noticed the price.

“Wholesale prices for turkeys have been very strong, $1.08 to $1.12 per pound for whole hen turkeys.”

Supplies are down and so prices are up this year. Supplies were also down the year before and that cut-back in production came following a period of over stock and plummeting prices paired with an increase in feed that hit producers hard. Agriculture specialists say those feed prices continue to climb. Even so, Harvey says retailers may not pass on that whole sale price increase.

“The thought is that you get them in there for the turkeys and then they’ll buy all the rest of their supplies for the Thanksgiving dinner at that store.”

Farm Bureau Federation surveys show that the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal for ten people this year will be around $49.20 cents.  Last year it was $43.47 cents. Whole frozen turkeys are averaging $1.35 a lb this year, that’s up $.25  from last year.

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