Turkey Prices Fall as Thanksgiving Nears

Consumers may expect to pay less for a Thanksgiving turkey this November thanks to improved supplies. Bernt Nelson, American Farm Bureau Federation economist, says prices have fallen since Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza peaked last September.

Now, since then, biosecurity measures and the practices that we put in place, the programs that USDA has used have helped avian influenza slow, we’re well below where we were last year. So, turkey numbers have had time to rebuild.” 

Nelson says the average price per pound is down 22 percent from last year.

“Our average price at this time last year was around $1.63 per pound, and right now we’re looking at about $1.27 a pound. Now, that’s for that eight-to-16-pound turkey that we use for a centerpiece for Thanksgiving. So, that’s just kind of shows that we’ve had time to rebuild these supplies. inflation isn’t as big of a factor this year as it was last year, so turkey prices have had time to come down a little bit.” 

Nelson adds lower prices and higher supplies also means increased demand.

Per capita, demand for turkey is expected to increase by about six percent this year to 15.5 lbs. per person in response to these lower prices. So overall, farmers and consumers alike should receive some relief from turkey prices this Thanksgiving. We’ve had very few avian influenza detections. In fact, June was the first month that we had zero avian influenza detections in the last year. And this means that there’s plenty of turkey to go around for Thanksgiving this year.” 

Full details on the cost to cook a Thanksgiving feast for 10 will be released on Nov. 15. To read the Market Intel report on turkey prices, go to