Landry Farms in Kirkville doesn't sell turkeys, but it's not unusual for owner Casey Koele to see a spike in business near Thanksgiving.
“Some people just don’t care for the taste of a turkey. Chickens have a little more versatility, I assume. For us, it’s always chickens,” said Koele.
The availability of smaller turkeys is limited this year, making Casey’s chicken’s a fitting alternative for those planning to eat less.
“Not everybody enjoys a turkey [and] not everyone needs a large 15 or 30 pound bird,” said Koele.
Syracuse University Professor Patrick Penfield specializes in supply chain management practices. He says the labor shortage and increased business costs are behind the smaller supply.
“The higher energy prices, higher feed prices, higher transportation prices, almost everything within the supply chain has really impacted turkeys in addition to other food supplies,” said Penfield.
Those expenses will be reflected in the grocery store. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that wholesale turkey prices are the highest they’ve been since 2015. On average, turkeys are $1.36 cents per pound.
“Usually if you’re going to start creating frozen turkey inventory you’re going to start in the summer time. But because of covid and because of issues they’ve had with higher feed prices and transportation, they just didn’t really stock enough turkeys to be frozen. That’s one of the reasons we have this availability issue,” said Penfield.
Frozen turkey processing finishes during the fall, but this year there is a 20% decrease in supply from last year.