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Thanksgiving 2023 - A Feast of Affordable Turkey

As Thanksgiving approaches, the spotlight turns to a festive staple: the turkey. Last year, record-high prices due to the High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak and reduced production raised concerns. However, 2023 paints a different picture, with turkey production soaring to 5.5 billion pounds, a 4% increase from last year. This uptick in production, however, doesn't overshadow the fact that, excluding 2022, it's still the lowest since the 2015 HPAI outbreak. 

The market has responded positively to this increased supply. Mid-November statistics show a dramatic drop in turkey prices. Larger frozen toms are now 50% cheaper, priced at $0.88 per pound, while smaller hens have seen a 44% reduction. Even fresh turkeys, typically pricier than their frozen counterparts, are more budget-friendly this year. 

Retail trends reflect these changes. The USDA reports over 29,000 retail stores featuring turkey specials, a slight decrease from last year but with more enticing offers like buy one, get one free deals. This strategic pricing is not just about selling turkeys; it's a move to boost overall store sales. 

Consumers benefit from these trends. Lower prices and abundant supply mean that your Thanksgiving centerpiece, the turkey, might be much more affordable than expected. This shift in pricing is a welcome change for many, especially in a time of economic unpredictability. 

As we gather to give thanks, the 2023 turkey market offers a silver lining: a feast that won't break the bank. It's a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the agriculture sector, ensuring that even in challenging times, traditions like Thanksgiving can continue unhampered. 


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