GREAT FALLS - Thanksgiving is around the corner.
But with that this year, the inflated price of turkey that families can expect to pay this holiday season.
This is all thanks to the impacts of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).
The American Farm Bureau reports that a resurgence of HPAI has caused concerns with 23 cases of the virus.
If the resurgence continues, there may be declining numbers in the supply chain for thanksgiving turkeys.
The USDA's most recent farm sector income forecast predicts record high production costs increasing 17.8% from 2021 to $437 billion in 2022.
A grade-a whole young hen posted for a record $1.72 as of Sept 3 marking a 20% increase over last year.
A fresh boneless, skinless tom turkey breast, reached a record high of $6.70 per pound in mid-September — 112% higher than last year.
During an HPAI outbreak in 2015, the high price was $5.88 per pound — an 82¢ increase.
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has had a major impact on poultry supply in the United States.
Turkey production is below what it was this time last year and is forecasted to be even lower next year.
But American Farm Bureau economists believe there should be enough thanksgiving turkeys for families this fall.