Wholesale prices on the East Coast for turkeys are up 26 percent this year to a record $1.18. The sweltering summer killed some turkeys and slowed weight gain for others. The two main commodities that go into a turkey are feed corn and soybeans. Prices for both have gone up sharply in the last year.
The U.S. is reaping its smallest corn harvest in three years after a drought damaged what was a record crop as recently as July, driving annual prices to an all-time high and curbing an expansion in global food supplies. The USDA probably will cut its corn forecast for a fourth consecutive month after yields were curbed by the hottest summer since 1955 in the Midwest, the main growing region. Farmers contended with extreme growing conditions this season. Average temperatures in the Midwest were as much as 8 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in July, and some farms from Illinois to Indiana were the driest ever that month. [WSJ ; BusinessWeek]