Turkey prices on the rise

Published 1:04 pm Friday, October 25, 2013

When a family puts a turkey on the table this Thanksgiving, it might have been pecked in the pocketbook just a little more than usual.

The culprit, according to Thomas Bates, manger of Bates Turkey Farm in Fort Deposit, is the price of corn.

Bates said the ingredients of feed, such as corn, have been high. While he said the price of feed has come down a little, he said it is too late help this year.

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He said the price of corn wouldn’t steady out until it is known how much was harvested.

Bates said turkey toms eat three quarters of a pound of feed a day and that hens eat more than a half-pound of feed per day, and with cooler weather consumption rises to three quarters of pound for hens and over a pound for toms. It cost the farm nearly 25 cents per pound for feed.

“You start figuring that up and it can add into some money real quick,” Bates said.

Bates pointed to two feeders that hold about 1,200 pound of feed each, and others that hold 900 pounds each, and said he has to refill them about every five days.

The result is higher prices for consumers.

Bates said the cost for a turkey from his farm will be an increase of 10 cents per pound for raw birds and about 20 cents a pound for smoked birds.

Bates doesn’t expect the added cost to impact the farm’s sales during the upcoming holiday season.