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Thanksgiving Turkey Prices Are Higher, Dutchess

Thanksgiving dinner for 10 will be up slightly this year due to increased prices for turkeys, but according to the American Farm Bureau, less than $2.00 overall.
Thanksgiving dinner for 10 will be up slightly this year due to increased prices for turkeys, but according to the American Farm Bureau, less than $2.00 overall. Photo Credit: USDA

Turkey prices this year are the highest ever -- but even so, they are lower than industry experts predicted, according to industry site Marketwatch.com.

The average price of a 16-lb. turkey this year will be about $23.04 -- a little less than $2 more than last year’s price of $21.65, an informal survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation says.

Avian flu was expected to drive up costs -- and it did, but not as much as expected, Marketwatch.com said. Turkey production was down only slightly. Through November, turkey producers will supply 5.57 billion pounds, or less than 20 billion pounds fewer than the 5.76 billion pounds produced in 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture says.

The top turkey producers last year were Minnesota, Arkansas, North Carolina, Indiana and Missouri.

The average price of Thanksgiving dinner this year for 10 people will be $50.11, up 70 cents from last year’s $49.41. Prices of other items surveyed rose as well, but something must have gone down. And there is still a chance retailer promotions will bring costs down even more.

According to the Farm Bureau, these are the costs of items for a typical Thanksgiving dinner:

  • miscellaneous ingredients, $3.18 compared to $3.48 last year;
  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, $3.57, a penny more than last year;
  • ½ pt. whipping cream, $1.94 as opposed to $2.00;
  • 1 gal. of whole milk, $3.25 -- it was $3.76 last year;
  • 30 oz. pumpkin pie mix, $3.20 as opposed to $3.12;
  • carrots and celery for a relish tray, 79 cents, or three cents less than last year;
  • 1 lb. of green peas (frozen), $1.52 as opposed to $1.55;
  • 14 oz. cubed stuffing mix, $2.61 instead of $2.54;
  • 16-lb. turkey, $23.04 up from $21.65;
  • 12-oz. fresh cranberries, $2.29, or five cents cheaper than 2014;
  • Two pie shells, $2.47, up five cents;
  • 12 rolls, $2.25 up from $2.17.
Total average cost of Thanksgiving dinner in 2015 is $50.11, up from $49.41 in 2014.

Source: American Farm Bureau Association. Menu has remained unchanged since 1986.

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