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Turkey expected to reach record high prices this holiday season

As the weather cools and thoughts turn to the upcoming holiday season, families can expect to pay record high prices for turkey, according to American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) economists.

In their latest Market Intel report, the economists analyzed turkey and egg costs. The retail price for fresh boneless, skinless turkey reached $6.70 per pound in September, a 112% increase compared to the same time last year. Prior to that, the record high price was $5.88 per pound in November 2015, when the industry battled an avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak.

The report also noted that inflation is adding to the increases. In August, all retail food prices were up 11.4% compared to the same time last year. Even though prices are higher, the industry expects to have enough turkeys available to meet demand this season.

“All of us are feeling the pain of higher prices at the grocery store,” says AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “HPAI outbreaks in the spring and an uptick in cases in the fall are taking a toll, but farmers remain dedicated to ensuring America’s food supply remains strong.”

With the escalating costs of feed, fuel, fertilizer, and labor, the AFBF also stressed that farmers aren’t profiting from the record high retail prices. Record high total products costs are predicted to increase by 17.8% in 2021 to $437.4 billion in 2022, according to the USDA’s most recent Farm Sector Income Forecast.

Although the price of eggs has fallen since it hit record highs in July, the average price for a dozen grade A eggs is still $2.34, which is 27% higher than the same time last year and 44% above the five-year average of $1.29.

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