Feed Costs Drive Up Turkey Prices


By Amanda Wade

Thanksgiving is over a month away, but one local business is already preparing for the holiday, and some of their prices are a bit higher than last year.

Bates Turkey Farm sells nearly 20,000 turkeys during the holidays, but the cost of fuel and feed is making the price for these holiday meals more expensive by the pound. 
The owners of Bates Turkey Farm say over the past five years, turkey prices have nearly doubled.  That's because the cost of feeding the turkeys is so high. Becky Sloane, says high corn prices, a main part of turkey feed, have to do with ethanol gas production, "it has made the price of corn more than double, and course that affects any farmer."
    Sloane says their turkeys this year will be between 10 to 20 cents more per pound.  Thomas Bates says they don't make very much off of the turkeys they raise because of the expense of it all, "Its made it hard to keep doing this, it really has."
Bates says although prices in corn have dropped a bit this year, it hasn't been a large enough drop to offset costs.  Even though the turkeys will cost a bit more this year, Bates customers says that won't keep them from buying the turkeys.
Evelyn Poole, a Birmingham resident and Greenville native says, "Not at all, always get our turkeys from Bates, and if the prices go up, so be it.  I mean their turkeys are the best, all natural, no additives, free range, so you really can't beat it."
John Rouse, a Mobile Resident, says, "You know the Turkey's good and we like Bates' Turkey."
Sloane says although the price for fresh turkeys will be higher, the prices for smoked turkeys will not be as affected.  
Bates turkeys will also be available in Montgomery at the Farmer's Market for Thanksgiving and Christmas. 
Bates tells us they will begin processing turkeys within the coming weeks to be ready for holiday feasts. 

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