At-home cooks preparing for their Thanksgiving holiday feasts are facing sharp price increases for their birds this year, and that's no surprise, says one turkey farmer.
"All the farmers in this area right now have had to raise their prices," said Stephanie Tewes of Tewes Farm in Kentucky. "It's simple economics: the price to feed the turkeys, the straw, the gas to get all the feed here, has all gone up in price."
Despite having eased slightly over the past month, inflation is still at a rate of 7.7 percent, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
Tewes Farm had to raise their prices a whole dollar from $3.50 per pound last year to $4.50 per pound this year. It's the most the farm has ever raised their prices.
Stephanie Tewes of Tewes Farm in Kentucky. Photo Credit: Lisa Bennatan/Cheddar News
Some customers have complained to Tewes about the increase, but she said the farm had no other option if it still wants to be around next year.
The average price of a 16-pound turkey is up 20 percent from the same time last year, according to America's Farm Bureau Federation.
"I think everyone's feeling it," Tewes told Cheddar News.
The United States Department of Agriculture, in a memo, blamed the rise in prices on the avian flu, which resulted in the loss of more than eight million turkeys, along with Russia's war on Ukraine, and drought across the U.S.
Tewes said grocery store shoppers can still save this year by going generic on Thanksgiving side dishes.
"The turkey is the centerpiece of your meal this time of year, so don't skimp on that," Tewes said. Instead she suggests opting for the "generic stuffing and generic corn, that kind of stuff."