Is Michigan Facing A Turkey Shortage Going Into The Holiday Season?
While it feels like 2022 just began a few weeks ago, next month we'll all start gathering together to celebrate the Thanksgiving and Holiday seasons. Times full of love, warmth, and tons of food in celebration of another hopeful year of happiness and health.
And one thing that seems to be a universal staple across the menu, is that for at least one of these holidays (if not both) you're likely going to have a turkey
But, if you've been to your grocery store deli counter lately, you may notice it's not like we have a large overstock of turkeys going into November and December. If anything, there appears to be a shortage.
Why is there a turkey shortage?
When I approached the counter at my neighborhood D&W Fresh Market that had the above sign, I asked the kind employee behind the counter why there was a shortage, and she told me it was due to the avian flu issues that Michigan and surrounding states experienced earlier in the year.
The state of Michigan issued a warning about the avian flu in April. They said it was affecting the wild bird population, which eventually spread to some farms and turkey distributors causing the shortage we are now experiencing.
But nationwide, over 6 million turkeys have been lost, and according to the USDA’s estimates, that's about 2.5 percent of the entire U.S. turkey flock.
Do they expect the turkey shortage to be solved before Thanksgiving?
There's been no official alarm sounded, but there is some chatter nationwide that says it may be tough to get your hands on a bird come Thanksgiving time.
Hormel recently shared in a quarterly report that despite record profits over the past few years, they expect to see a squeeze this year due to the shortage in turkey production. So while we can hope it won't be too hard, you may want to plan ahead to make sure you have a turkey, because last-minute hunting may be non-existent this year.