The Experts in Animal Health

Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is right around the corner and plans for the family dinner are beginning to take shape.  Families are determining how large a turkey will be needed to feed everyone.  Given the inflationary environment we are experiencing, one question on the minds of shoppers is how much will this year’s turkey cost?  Turkey prices hit an all-time high in 2022 primarily as a result of the impact that Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) had on turkey flocks

Well, HPAI is back.  This virus is like the horror film character, Jason, from the “Friday the 13th” movies…it just keeps coming back for more.  According to the USDA, 14 states have reported outbreaks since the 2023 fall bird migration began.

Fortunately, turkey supplies have recovered since the HPAI outbreak began in 2022.  The USDA’s annual “Turkey Raised report” estimates that 219 million turkeys were raised in 2023, an increase of +4% from 2022 and 1% above pre-HPAI outbreak levels in 2021.  Live weights are also up by 3.8% vs. 2022, in addition to increases in the numbers of turkeys raised.

Despite the spreading of HPAI, average turkey prices have fallen from $1.63/lb. in 2022 to $1.27/lb. in 2023 for an 8-16 lb. turkey due to increases in production.  This is a positive sign for those tasked with feeding hungry friends and relatives.  Eat and be merry!!!

Randy Freides

en_USEnglish (United States)