Couple that with unneccessarily* high fuel costs making it more expensive to get the food to market, and we end up with a lot to thank Al Gore for this year.
If you're planning a major feast this Thanksgiving, it might be a good idea to budget a few extra dollars to make sure you can get the guest of honor to the table.
The rising cost of oil and other utilities, combined with an explosion in the cost of corn feed, has increased the cost of raising a turkey by as much 35 percent and costing the industry more than a half-billion dollars.
[...] Nationally, increases in feed costs are expected to cost farmers more than $576 million, said Sherrie Rosenblatt, a spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based National Turkey Federation.
"From the consumer standpoint you probably won't see that so much at retail," she said. "(But) there is definitely an increase in production costs because of the increased cost of corn."
As an increasing number of farms devote their corn crops to the production of ethanol rather than animal feed, Rosenblatt said, feed costs have exploded, from less than a dollar per bushel last year to more than $4 today.
"Turkey feed is about one-third of the cost of raising a turkey," she said. "We feed turkeys a combination of corn and soybean."
With many growers switching to the more profitable corn for ethanol, turkey farmers are trying to cope with a one-two punch of increasing corn prices and decreased soybean production.
According to some estimates, the higher prices translate to about an 8 cent increase per pound, per turkey, or about a 35 percent increase in the cost of raising just one bird.
"No matter which way you spin it, all the feed costs are increasing," she said.
* The same folks pushing so hard for ethanol production are dead-set determined to prevent us from (1) developing proven oil resources, and (2) increasing our refining capacity.
(Found at: Carpe Diem)
UPDATE: I realize that many grocery stores still offer turkeys at fantastic prices. That's because they're using the turkey price to get you into the store, where you'll end up paying more for the other components of the Thanksgiving meal. The rising turkey prices mean that the stores will be sucking up an even greater loss as they vie for your business.