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Thanksgiving dinner costs are on the rise. Here's why.

Turkeys cost almost $28.96 for 16 pounds. That’s $1.81 more per pound than last year

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With just two days until Thanksgiving experts say if you don’t have a turkey by now, you might not get one.

The United States is headed for a record-breaking number of bird flu cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50 million birds affected so far.

In California, the California Poultry Federation says they’ve lost 300,000 birds in just two months.

“I’m not sure what’s left today, but I’m sure if you buy organic and free-range, turkey will cost 30% more than last year,” said Bill Mattos, the California Poultry Federation president. 

Locally, a producer in Sacramento County lost 97,000 birds at the end of August. Two outbreaks just 10 days apart in Stanislaus County netted a loss of more than 105,000.

For local producers like Ken Mitchell, it’s concerning.

“The turkey flock that I had, it did go to market two weeks ago... We just struggle with a lack of numbers, which is affecting the Thanksgiving market,” said Mitchell.

But while the consumer is paying more, the farmer isn’t making more. Mitchell says this could be the beginning of high prices.

“I don’t think we’ve seen the height of it yet, but people are having to choose what they need and what they can afford,” said Mitchell.

Turkeys cost almost $28.96 for 16 pounds. That’s $1.81 more per pound than last year. A 21% increase.

It’s not just turkey. The American Farm Bureau Federation shows the average cost of Thanksgiving has jumped from $53.31 dollars to $64.05 this year.

Pie crusts up 26%, dinner rolls up 22 and even stuffing saw a 69% price hike.

Turkey farmers say expect high prices for at least the next two Thanksgivings, while they regrow supply and deal with the future of inflation.


California inflation has families splitting costs for 2022 Thanksgiving dinner

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