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Turkey Prices At 10-Year Low, But That May Not Be Good For Hoosier Farmers

Jayson Lusk, the head of Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics, says turkey prices are about $1.45 per pound, which is the cheapest it has been in the past decade, but that also means less money is being made by farmers.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Your Thanksgiving turkey is the cheapest it’s been in the past ten years, says a Purdue professor.

Jayson Lusk, distinguished professor and department head of Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics, says turkey prices are about $1.45 per pound, which is the cheapest it has been in the past decade. 

Lusk says the lower cost of feed is one of the reasons why livestock prices are down.

"Corn and soybean prices are fairly low.  That's contributed to lower costs to feed the turkeys and the slightly increasing supply of turkeys that are out there," says Lusk. 

Lusk says prices have also dropped on potatoes, which are around 60 cents per pound.

Although lower prices are good for the shoppers, it doesn't help out Hoosier farmers.  

"We're really expecting to see another decline [in food prices] this year.  That is a challenge for [ag] producers and so it just suggests that it's really a world of tradeoffs out there," Lusk says.

Lusk says the prices that farmers are getting on their livestock, milk and crops have been down compared to five years ago because of oversaturation due to better technology.

"Farmers are just much more efficient.  They've figured out ways, better genetics, better technologies that allow them to produce more using less," according to Lusk.

Lusk also says food prices will stay low and will continue to have a negative effect on farmers unless there is a major catastrophe, such as flooding or disease, that would wipe out a large number of livestock and crops and drive supply down.

"I don't think there's a lot of optimistic signs [of any changes] out there at least on the short run," says Lusk. 

 

Photo: Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

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