Turkey Shortage Leads to Higher Turkey Prices Ahead of Thanksgiving

KOKH-OKC - October 25, 2022 6:52 am

As people start their preparations for Thanksgiving dinner, you may have some trouble finding the perfect holiday bird this year.

Experts say you may have slim pickings when it comes to finding the perfect turkey this year, and you can expect to pay much more for the bird.

Though Thanksgiving is about a month away, people have already been having trouble finding a turkey.

Valir Health, a local healthcare company provides their employees with everything needed for a thanksgiving meal, but this year they faced an unexpected problem.

“Normally we don’t have any problem. But I was told a couple of weeks ago that we probably would not get turkeys and we are needing over 400 turkeys this year,” said Dana Keller with Valir Health.

They say they have been getting turkeys for their employees for almost 20 years now, and have never experienced something like this.

“We’ve had you know, shortage of green beans or we’re just something else small and minor that we can run to the grocery store and get but now that nothing like this,” Keller said.

According to the USDA, bird flu has killed about 5.4 million turkeys in the US this year, but experts say this year’s turkey shortage and high prices are caused by a multitude of factors.

“There’s a little bit of a turkey shortage in part due to bird flu concerns. It has had an impact on some flocks, but there’s also a big price difference in turkeys and a lot of that has to do with not only the availability of the birds but also everything that everyone else has experienced higher fuel prices,” said OSU Agricultural Economist, Rodney Holcomb, “Drought, impacted supply of grains, Ukraine war, all these things come back and affect the cost of raising whatever turkeys we do have.”

They say you can expect to pay anywhere from 25% to 100% more for your turkey this year.

“You will see the price go up on all turkeys but depending on who you are, how many you’re buying, and what you’re buying,” Holcomb said.


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