Turkey and Cranberries
It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means turkey and cranberries have been on our minds. This week’s post is a serving of turkey and cranberry data sure to satisfy your curiosity and, perhaps, provide some fodder for any lull during family dinners.
Turkey supplies stable
Is it possible to be Thanksgiving without mentioning turkey prices? We’ll leave it to you to decide if this year’s meal was a bargain due to a thrifty shopping strategy or too high because of inflation. Instead, we’re considering production trends, which show stable supplies.
Figure 1 shows monthly U.S. turkey production since 2015. While the data has significant variability, the black diamonds denote each October. Between 2015 and 2018, production ahead of Thanksgiving trended higher. After 2018, however, October production trended lower. In 2022, October production was at the lowest in seven years and 18% lower than in October 2018.
While 2023 data aren’t yet available, production is on pace to at least match the 2022 level, if not slightly improved. It’s also clear that monthly activity in 2023 has been higher. During the first nine months of 2023, production was 5% higher than in the same period in 2022. It seems turkey’s four-year decline is behind us.
A second supply consideration is turkey in storage. Each year, turkey supplies in cold storage increase throughout the spring and summer before peaking in September. For this year, 7% more turkey was in cold storage in October than a year ago.
Whether you prefer fresh or canned cranberry sauce, you probably can’t guess which U.S. state accounts for nearly half of all U.S. cranberry acreage.
Before the answer, Figure 3 shows U.S. acreage for select berries. While this is a proxy of production, it doesn’t account for yields or pounds of production. Blueberries have the most acreage, with more than 150,000 acres reported in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Furthermore, blueberry acreage has been trending higher. Between 2007 and 2017, acreage increased at an average annualized rate of 2.2%
Cranberry acreage ranks third, behind strawberries, at nearly 44,000 acres in 2017. Cranberries have also enjoyed an acreage expansion but at a much slower rate (0.6% annualized increase between 2007 and 2017).
Finally, Figure 4 shows the distribution of U.S. cranberry acreage by state. In 2017, Wisconsin accounted for 49% of total U.S. acreage. Massachusetts (31%), New Jersey (8%), and Oregon (7%) were other states with significant acreage.
Cranberries aren’t included in the monthly WASDE estimates, but a state-level report pegged the 2023 crop down 5% from 2022 due to “cold temperatures… below-normal precipitation and above-normal snowfall during winter months.”
Wrapping It Up
In conclusion, the AEI.ag team wishes you and your families the happiest of Thanksgivings!