LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A study released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that the country is facing a shortage of turkeys.
But what about in the Great Lakes State?
A poultry expert with the Michigan Farm Bureau confirmed that while a couple million turkeys died of avian influenza nationwide, Michigan is looking like it’s in good shape come Turkey Day.
“There were about 7 million turkeys that were lost this past year due to avian influenza,” said Ernie Birchmeier, the Senior Industry Relations Specialist with the MFB.
Birchmeier said there are plenty of factors when it comes to there being less turkeys nationwide, but a rise in bird flu is not out of the ordinary.
“It’s not much different then when young students go back to school in the fall and why we see an increase in influenzas in spring and fall,” said Birchmeier. “Because you’re bringing those kids back together with their different set of bugs if you will.”
Each year, more than 200 million turkeys are produced.
“There certainly will not be a turkey shortage this coming year,” said Birchmeier “So consumers can be rest assured there will be plenty of turkeys available for them and their families to consume on Thanksgiving Day.”
But you will find one problem due to the influenza uptick.
“Those birds that were lost would typically be some of the larger birds that available to consumers at Thanksgiving time,” said Birchmeier.
The biggest thing consumers are worrying about for Thanksgiving is inflation. The price per pound of turkey is up to $2 a pound nationwide, a $1.15 more than last year.
“A lot of food inflation can be tied directly to higher energy costs, higher input costs, higher fuel cost which is apart of energy,” said Birchmeier. “You know and higher labor costs and our farmers have felt this as well.”
Birchmeier’s biggest piece of advice? Get out there and start shopping now, as the prices will only get higher as Turkey Day nears.