Supply of the bird for the annual celebration is an issue a year ago following cases of avian influenza in the prior six months.
Turkey production for the last quarter of 2016 is expected to be up by 100 million pounds from a year ago.
Frozen inventory of whole birds after the third quarter was only up 1 percent from last year, but frozen inventory of parts and meat was up 32 percent. The latter should allow for an increase in production to be marketed as whole birds in the months of October and November.
The turkey industry has been trying to target 200 million pounds end-of-the-year frozen inventory for the past few years. Frozen inventory at the end of 2015 was 250 million pounds. It was 296 million pounds in 2012 and 396 million pounds in 2008.
If the target production for the last quarter this year would be met and the consumption would be close or slightly less than last year, frozen inventories at the end of the year would be close to 350 million pounds.
The decline in turkey prices since last September suggests that the turkey industry is making an effort to encourage more consumption before the end of the year.