The cost of a Thanksgiving dinner this year won’t be much more than last year, rising less than 1 percent, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Prices could increase in 2013. The worst drought in decades stunted yields and could have a delayed effect.
“There’s so many more expenses that go into getting the food to the grocery store that’s not just the costs of the products,” said Patrick Kirchhofer of the Peoria County Farm Bureau.
By the numbers
+5%: Ham prices hold steady while the cost of beef has risen slightly, up 5 percent for ground beef and almost 8 percent for sirloin steaks, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
+20%: Apple crops were a bust in the Midwest this year, resulting in prices up about 20 percent. Thanks to West Coast producers, some varieties will be in good supply. Honeycrisps were hit the hardest, whereas Red and Yellow Delicious should be plentiful. ______
Turkey: The Wall Street Journal reports that turkey costs are up 5 percent nationally, but Yordy Turkey Farm, Alwan & Sons Meat Company and Hy-Vee all report they’re holding the line on prices locally.
Pumpkins: A hardy pumpkin crop survived the summer’s drought. Roz O’Hearn, spokeswoman for Nestle USA, said shoppers can expect canned pumpkin prices to remain steady through the holiday.
Squash: Like pumpkins, most winter squashes had a banner year. Butternut, acorn and spaghetti squashes are available in high supply.
Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes: These root plants grow underground and were not affected much by the high temperatures this summer.
What they are saying locally
“The only thing we find is that they’re not quite as big. The real big birds, like 24 pounds, we just didn’t have any,” said Brent Yordy of Yordy Turkey Farm. Most families go for a 14-to 18-pound bird, which are in high supply this year.
“Last year was a good year for pumpkins, and this is probably a little better year, surprisingly,” said John Ackerman, a Morton grower.
Kurt Christ, owner of Christ Orchard in Elmwood, said he had about 60 percent of a normal apple crop this year, higher than other growers in Illinois who might have experienced 10 percent or less. “It was the freeze in April that really devastated,” Christ said.
“Holiday hams should be in plentiful supply this holiday season. I think they will continue to be reasonably priced,” said Wayne Peugh, a Dunlap pork producer.
“In particular pie prices have recently gone up due to the price of fruit, cherries and blueberries in particular. We’ve also had a challenge this year with nuts,” said Mary Ardapple, owner of Apple’s Bakery in Peoria Heights.