USDA report: Cost of turkey on the rise

GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — For 75 years, the farmers at Gozzi’s Turkey Farms in Guilford have been painting some of their turkeys to celebrate the days before Thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a turkey, it’s marvelous and it’s been a tradition forever,” said Bernadette Welch of North Branford.

Yet, beyond the excitement, there is a reality that the cost per pound of a bird bound for holiday tables is on the rise.

According to numbers released by the USDA Friday, the average retail price for a frozen turkey nationwide is $1.29 per pound, that is up more than 10 percent from last year. And in Connecticut that cost could be higher, especially if you’re looking to purchase a fresh turkey.

“I think the average price is going to be around $3.69 and we’re doing $2.99 a pound this year,” said Matt Gozzi, a fourth generation turkey farmer at Gozzi’s.

As far as Connecticut is concerned, Gozzi blames the jump in cost to increased demand.

“Luckily, this year we were able to hit all our numbers, so we’re going to get everyone who needs one a turkey,” said Gozzi.

But depending on where you shop, there could be another reason for the spike in prices, bird flu. The bird flu resulted in the deaths of 48 million birds earlier this year, many of which were being raised for Thanksgiving. Among the hardest hit states were Iowa and Minnesota.

There hasn’t been a reported case of bird flu in the United States since June.

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