Our list of top states in turkey production will reveal you where America gets most of its turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners.
People in the United States love turkey, that’s a fact. According to the University of Illinois, Americans consumed 16 pounds of turkey on average in 2012. Another interesting thing is that 88% of people in the United States eat turkey as their main meal on Thanksgiving. This holiday is also the time when most turkeys are consumed in American households. On average, 46 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving, with substantial numbers being consumed on Christmas (22 million) and Easter (19 million).
Taking this into consideration, it isn’t surprising that the United States account for almost half of world’s turkey production. According to The Poultry Site, which used multiple sources, world’s turkey production was 5.63 million tonnes in 2012. Out of that number, the United States were accountable for 2.6 million tonnes. Other big producers are Brazil with 0.51 million tonnes, Germany with 0.56 million tonnes and France with 0.45 million tonnes. The value of turkey production in the United States in 2012 was $5.45 billion, while the number was $5.71 billion in 2015. 2015 was considered a rough year for turkey production the United States, since it was estimated that around 7 million turkeys died due to the outbreak of avian influenza. Surprisingly, the prices didn’t increase. If you are more of a chicken person, then check out our list of 10 Biggest Chicken – Producing States in America.
In order to find out which are the top states in turkey production, we used data from United States Department of Agriculture and their yearly Poultry – Production and Value report. The report contains information about numbers of turkeys raised, pounds produced and value of production. In order to have the most accurate list, we formed three separate rankings and then combined them, thus getting our list. Check it out.
Number raised: 5.2 million
Pounds produced: 204 million
Value of production: $166 million
Although Michigan raised 100K turkeys more in 2015 than in 2014, the state produced almost a million pounds less. That didn’t affect the value of production that increased by $15 million.
Number raised: 5.2 million
Pounds produced: 209 million
Value of production: $169 million
Just like Michigan, Ohio raised 100K more turkeys than in 2014. That, however, didn’t contribute to increase in pounds produced, which stayed almost the same. But, the value rose for $15 million.
Number raised: 11million
Pounds produced: 338 million
Value of production: $274 million
California really stepped up in 2015. The state raised half a million more turkeys than in 2014, increasing pounds production by 18 million and value of production by almost $50 million.
Number raised: 9 million
Pounds produced: 353 million
Value of production: $287 million
Iowa, unlike California, saw a decrease in production. There were 1.4 million fewer turkeys raised in Iowa in 2015, resulting in the decrease of pounds produced by almost 100 million and a decrease in value of production by $43 million.
Number raised: 17million
Pounds produced: 460 million
Value of production: $373 million
Another state on our list of top states in turkey production that saw an increase in production. Virginia raised 200K more turkeys, producing 17 million more pounds and increasing value of production by almost $50 million.
Number raised: 27 million
Pounds produced: 561 million
Value of production: $454 million
Arkansas saw a decrease in both numbers of turkeys raised and pounds produced in 2015 compared to 2014. However, that didn’t lower the value of production, which increased for around $5 million.
Number raised: 19 million
Pounds produced: 600 million
Value of production: $486 million
Compared to 2014, Missouri jumped ahead of Arkansas on the list and produced a whole lot of turkey in 2015. The result was 2 million turkeys raised increase, 55 million pounds more and value of production jump for about $85 million.
Number raised: 19 million
Pounds produced: 752 million
Value of production: $610 million
Although Indiana raised 300K more turkeys, that didn’t help to increase the pounds production, which was lowered by 1.6 million pounds. The value of production, on the other hand, rose for $55 million.
Number raised: 41 million
Pounds produced: 0.98 billion
Value of production: $801 million
In 2014, Minnesota was undoubtedly the largest producing state in the U.S. when it comes to turkeys. The state still leads in number raised, but there was a significant 4.5 million decrease, which led to Minnesota producing almost 300 million pounds less and decreasing value of production by $65 million.
1. North Carolina
Number raised: 31 million
Pounds produced: 1 billion
Value of production: $884 million
North Carolina tops our list of top states in turkey production thanks to decreasing production in Minnesota. The state raised 2.5 million turkeys more in 2015 than in 2014, resulting in 95 million pounds produced increase. This influenced greatly on the value of production, which increased for around $150 million in 2015.