You guessed it, your Thanksgiving turkey will be smaller and costlier this year

This year’s turkey production will be the largest annual reduction since 2009.

As High Pathogenic Avian Influenza works its way across the U.S., analysts say this year’s Thanksgiving birds are going to be smaller and cost more, too.

CoBank says the virus is hitting larger, heavier birds more than hens. Compared to the last three years, slaughter is down nearly 10 percent from last year, and if the trend holds, they say it will be the largest annual reduction since 2009. However, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says there is no need to worry about a shortage.

“In terms of people being able to get a Thanksgiving turkey, they’re going to be able to get a Thanksgiving turkey. Now, whether they can get a 20-pound turkey may be a challenge based on location because some of the turkeys that are being raised right now for Thanksgiving may not have the full amount of time to get the 20 pounds,” said Sec. Vilsack.

So far, HPAI has claimed nearly 8 million turkeys.

Agriculture Shows
From soil to harvest. Top Crop is an all-new series about four of the best farmers in the world—Dan Luepkes, of Oregan, Illinois; Cory Atley, of Cedarville, Ohio; Shelby Fite, of Jackson Center, Ohio; Russell Hedrick, of Hickory, North Carolina—reveals what it takes for them to make a profitable crop. It all starts with good soil, patience, and a strong planter setup.
Champions of Rural America is a half-hour dive into the legislative priorities for Rural America. Join us as we interview members of the Congressional Western Caucus to learn about efforts in Washington to preserve agriculture and tackles the most important topics in the ag industry on Champions of Rural America!
Farm Traveler is for people who want to connect with their food and those who grow it. Thanks to direct-to-consumer businesses, agritourism, and social media, it’s now easier than ever to learn how our food is made and support local farmers. Here on the Farm Traveler, we want to connect you with businesses offering direct-to-consumer products you can try at home, agritourism sites you can visit with your family, and exciting new technologies that are changing how your food is being grown.
Featuring members of Congress, federal and state officials, ag and food leaders, farmers, and roundtable panelists for debates and discussions.
Host Ben Bailey hops in the tractor cab, giving farmers 10 minutes to answer as many questions and grab as much cash as they can for their local FFA chapter.