MINNEAPOLIS -- Consumers can expect to pay more for their Thanksgiving turkey this year as inflation and bird flu continue to make an impact on the market. The American Farm Bureau Federation released its latest market intel predicting record turkey and egg prices ahead of the holiday.
Economists report the retail price for boneless, skinless turkey breast reached a record high of $6.70 per pound in September, a 112% increase from the same time in 2021 when prices were $3.16 per pound.
To further the strain on the poultry business, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, also known as Bird Flu, has made a resurgence in Minnesota. After a brief summer lull, an additional 18 cases have been confirmed, in addition to the 81 cases this past spring. The majority is in commercial turkey flocks, though several have been confirmed in backyard flocks.
"We were fully expecting that we would see cases in the fall, but it did come up in our domestic poultry population earlier than we anticipated," Minnesota Board of Animal Health Senior Veterinarian Dr. Shauna Voss said.
Voss doesn't believe it will have a big impact on the supply of turkeys this Thanksgiving, but like all other food prices, it could cost more.
The American Farm Bureau Federation reports overall turkey production is down in the U.S. They said the risk of bird flu outbreaks has incentivized growers to sell younger birds.
"I'm hoping we will have a quiet fall and winter but time will tell," Voss said.
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