It’s going to cost you a fair amount more to feed the whole brood this Thanksgiving than it did last year — especially if you insist on serving the traditional turkey.
In its annual survey of prices, the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation says the cost of feeding a family of 10 this year will hit $51.14.
That’s up a whopping 30 percent from what Thanksgiving hosts spent to prepare the identical meal a year earlier.
That figure also is close to $9 higher than the national average.
What’s mainly behind the change is the price tag on the turkey.
Farm Bureau shoppers pegged the typical cost of a 16-pound bird this year in excess of $1.40 a pound.
By contrast, they were able to purchase a 16-pound tom a year ago for under a buck a pound.
Julie Murphree, spokeswoman for the Farm Bureau, said at least part of the reason for the price hike is the diminishing size of Arizona’s already tiny turkey production industry.
Young’s Farm near Dewey, which had produced about 25,000 birds a year, went out of business at the end of last year.
But Murphree said the higher prices are not limited to the main course: The price tag on virtually everything else also went up, though not by the same margin as the bird.
In fact, the only part of the traditional dinner that actually got cheaper is that one-pound bag of frozen peas — one of the items on the list that isn’t produced in Arizona.
Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers said much of what’s behind all that is the cost of the fuel needed for everything from running the tractors to trucking the items to market.
Rogers, who farms cotton and alfalfa, said the fuel costs on just his farm were up more than 30 percent.
Careful shoppers might be able to actually put together the same meal for less than the Farm Bureau estimate.
That’s because their survey considers only the regular price of items rather than the advertised specials or discounts offered to people who carry their affinity cards.
Several markets are offering at least one brand of frozen turkey at just 47 cents a pound.
Thanksgiving price history
Year - Arizona - National
2007 - $51.14 - $42.26
2006 - $39.22 - $36.57
2005 - $37.69 - $36.78
2004 - $35.22 - $36.04
2003 - no survey - $36.28
2002 - $34.43 - $34.56
2001 - $34.05 - $35.04
2000 - $34.11 - $32.37
1999 - $33.82 - $33.83
1998 - $27.41 - $33.09
1997 - $26.14 - $31.75
1996 - $30.37 - $31.66
1995 - $28.68 - $29.64
1994 - $26.93 - $28.40
1993 - $24.99 - $27.49
* Total figures may not always match tally of individual items due to rounding of fractional cents on average prices.
SOURCE: Arizona Farm Bureau