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Thanksgiving expected to cost more this year, not just because of inflation

Oct 19, 2022, 5:56 PM | Updated: Oct 20, 2022, 8:37 am

SALT LAKE CITY — The high cost of Thanksgiving this year might be hard to swallow, and not just because of inflation.

In September of last year, a pound of fresh boneless skinless turkey was $3.16 a pound, according to the American Farm Bureau Foundation.

The same turkey this September is now $6.70 a pound.

That’s more than double.

Inflation is one reason for the increase, but another big factor is the avian bird flu.

Utah turkey farms have been hit hard by the virus.

In Sanpete County, where about 40 turkey farms are located, 16 of them have been affected by the virus.

This virus is extremely contagious in birds.

In the past two months, 700,000 turkeys have had to be put down because of those concerns, according to Utah’s Department of Agriculture and Food.

In Utah, about 3,000,000 turkeys are raised each year.

USDA officials are in Sanpete County helping farmers contain the spread of this virus.

State officials are asking for all of us to be careful as well.

“We want to encourage all people in the state of Utah to remain vigilant, whether you own your own flock of chickens in your backyard or you frequent parks where there are wild birds, just make sure you’re being careful and you’re not tracking the avian flu around,” Bailee Woolstenhulme, who is the spokesperson for the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food said.

One easy way to spread bird flu is if you step in bird feces and then carry it to other places on your shoes.

With fall bird migration still happening, there is a concern the spread of this virus could get even worse, which could lead to even higher prices for turkey.

Because of all the turkeys that had to be put down, it has a lot of people wondering if there might be a turkey shortage for this Thanksgiving.

“At this time, we are not expecting a large impact to the frozen turkeys you would purchase in store for Thanksgiving,” said Woolstenhulme. However, we are expecting impacts to the fresh, organic turkey market. Farms that raise turkeys for that purpose have been impacted quite significantly from this most recent outbreak.”

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Thanksgiving expected to cost more this year, not just because of inflation