USDA: Supply of turkeys will rebound by Thanksgiving
Washington, DC - The return of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in 2022 has affected poultry sectors, including commercial flocks of broilers (chickens raised for meat), egg-laying hens, and turkeys. In the turkey industry, 5.4 million turkeys have been depopulated because of HPAI exposure. This is equivalent to about 2.5 percent of all turkeys that were commercially slaughtered for meat in 2021.
While HPAI outbreaks in commercial facilities have diminished, losses that occurred in the spring have affected USDA's turkey production forecasts for the remainder of 2022. HPAI's impact on production is expected to be most significant in the second and third quarters of 2022. Second-quarter production is forecast at 1.29 billion pounds, about 8 percent below the same quarter in 2021. Similarly, third-quarter production is forecast to be about 6 percent below the same period in 2021.
The industry starts to raise young birds in July for its November production. USDA projects turkey production to rebound close to previous year levels by the fourth quarter, which includes the Thanksgiving holiday.