(The Center Square) – Iowans and the rest of the Midwest will pay less for a Thanksgiving dinner this year, but the cost is still 25% higher than four years ago, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Midwesterners will spend $58.66 to feed 10 people, 4.5% less than in 2022.
“Food inflation remains elevated but has fallen in 2023 compared to the last several years,” said Dr. Christopher Pudenz, Iowa Farm Bureau economist. “At the same time, the overall cost decrease reflected by Farm Bureau’s survey is more appropriately attributed to turkey supply.”
The estimated cost is based on data compiled from all 50 states between Nov. 1-6. The shopping list includes “frozen pie crusts, pumpkin pie mix, whipping cream, dinner rolls, fresh cranberries, rolls, whole milk, frozen peas, sweet potatoes and stuffing,” according to the Farm Bureau. Adding ham, russet potatoes and frozen green beans drove the price of the meal to $84.75.
Turkey prices are cheaper due to fewer cases of avian flu, according to the Farm Bureau. The average price is $1.17 a pound, which is 5.6% less than last year. ‘
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship reported 16 avian flu outbreaks at commercial turkey farms compared to just four this year.
Farmers are crucial to the traditional Thanksgiving meal, according to the Farm Bureau. But they receive less than 15 cents for every dollar spent on food, as most of the other 85 cents go to transportation, labor and marketing. Iowa Farm production costs are more than $420,000. Nationally, farm income is predicted to fall 23% the year, according to Pudenz.
“Agriculture has always played a critical role in Thanksgiving traditions,” says Pudenz. “Despite livestock diseases, drought impacts, and high input costs, farmers continue to provide the essential foods for these family gatherings, all while maintaining high standards of animal welfare and conservation. And that is certainly something to be thankful for.”