Turkey Prices Expected to Rise 15 to 20 Percent This Thanksgiving

GILLIAN MOHNEY

A turkey dinner may cost a little extra this Thanksgiving after thousands of birds were infected with bird flu earlier this year.

As a result, millions of birds were culled in multiple states, including millions of turkeys being raised in preparation for the Thanksgiving season.

Corinne Alexander, an agricultural economist at Purdue University, said in a statement that she expects turkey prices to be 15 percent to 20 percent higher than last year.

"This price increase is much larger than typical as a result of the avian influenza outbreak that affected turkey flocks earlier this year," Alexander said in a statement.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. turkey meat production fell 7 percent in August to 451 million pounds compared to the previous year. The price for an average turkey is expected to rise to $1.31 or $1.37 per pound this year, according to the USDA.

This is not the first time the bird flu epidemic has swept through farms and impacted grocery prices. Earlier this year the price of eggs started to rise as millions of egg-laying hens were killed in an effort to stop the spread of the disease. The cost of a dozen eggs at one point rose 58 percent, according to the Associated Press.

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Alexander said the turkey price increase can quickly add up for families on a budget.

"For these families, any food price rise is significant," Alexander said. "We should remember those who are less fortunate and share our food bounty."

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