Virginia turkey production is up from that of 2014

recessionbusters-headerJust in time for the holidays, there are even more Virginia-grown turkeys available this year. According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the number of turkeys raised in Virginia in 2015 is expected to total 17.4 million, up 4 percent from the 16.8 million raised in 2014.

“The projected increase in Virginia turkey production is a market response to decreased U.S. turkey production resulting from the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in western and Midwestern states earlier this year,” said Tony Banks, a commodity marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

The VDACS production figures are based on a Sept. 1 survey in major turkey-producing states by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Virginia’s increased production could help moderate retail price increases in some areas where supplies may be shorter than usual,” Banks said. “Despite production increases in Virginia and other states unaffected by the disease outbreak, USDA estimates 2015 U.S. turkey production will be nearly 10 million head lower than 2014.”

Virginia ranks sixth among turkey-producing states and, along with five other states, accounts for nearly two-thirds of the turkeys produced in the U.S. The top five turkey-producing states are Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana and Missouri.

“Virginia has a long and proud history of turkey production,” Banks said. “We’ve always been a major turkey-producing state, even ranking fourth nationwide before turkey production expanded in other states. Consumers here can expect access to fresh, locally raised turkeys for the holidays.”

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