Thanksgiving turkey prices at 10-year low, Purdue expert says

If your Thanksgiving turkey is sitting in the deep freezer or thawing in the refrigerator right now, go back and check your receipt. You likely paid less for it this year.

Posted: Nov. 16, 2018 6:45 AM
Updated: Nov. 19, 2018 5:32 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — If your Thanksgiving turkey is sitting in the deep freezer or thawing in the refrigerator right now, go back and check your receipt. You likely paid less for it this year. A Purdue researcher said the price of the Thanksgiving main course, and the staples that go with it, are lower now than the past decade.

That's something Ashley Brown likes to hear. She's busy prepping for her big family Thanksgiving. If you come in her kitchen this time of year, you're probably going to walk away with some food.

"If they go hungry it's their own fault," said Brown.

Thanksgiving in the Brown home means tradition and mouths to feed. However, one thing you don't mess with in this family is the turkey.

"There's a gallon of apple cider in there, a cup of kosher salt, a half cup of apple cider vinegar, one cup of brown sugar," listed Brown from her father's famous Turkey recipe. This year the Browns, and families across the U.S., will be paying less for their holiday bird.

Purdue Agriculture Economics department head Jayson Lusk said turkey prices are at a 10-year low this year. Prices are right around $1.45 per pound. A few years ago that turkey on your dinner table would have been about 25-percent higher.

"Feed prices are low and the prices of corn and soybeans, and they've been low for a couple of years," said Lusk. "That means feeding livestock and poultry is much more affordable than it's been in the past."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts food inflation is going to remain flat this year. Cranberries are 30-percent cheaper than five years ago. Potatoes cost about 60 cents per pound, and the list goes on and on. It's nice for us consumers but for farmers, they receive less for their crop.

"The good news is, even if prices are low, many farmers have more to sell this year. However it's certainly tough times in the farming community."

Lusk said low food prices can have a ripple effect on other areas of the economy around the holidays.

"If you add all that up together and you compare that to previous years, really it looks like a Thanksgiving meal that's going to be very affordable."

That's something any family can give thanks about.

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