Don't wait too long because turkey shortage could cost you more

For weeks now, turkey farm owner Mary Pittman has been getting calls and e-mails from people all across the country who want free-range turkeys for their tables next week.

Pittman raises upscale turkeys in California, but says Texans are some of her best clients.

As of September, whole bird turkey cold storage levels were down five percent compared to a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Pittman confirmed there is a shortage of turkeys.

"That's why they're higher this year. There weren't enough turkeys produced. If you're going to buy a commercial turkey or frozen turkey, I would go and get them in the stores right now," said Pittman.

She said it really depends on the stores and the type of turkey someone wants.

"Every store decides their own prices. However, prices always depend on if there's an oversupply for commercial turkeys. So, if they've overproduced, they're going to be really cheap," said Pittman.

Consumers could see higher prices for whole turkeys at grocery stores this holiday season, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Poor market conditions in recent years have caused producers to adjust to consumer trends with fewer birds and smaller storage supplies.

However, consumers are paying 20 percent below the five-year average.

Pittman advised if you’re getting a fresh turkey, reserve it, but don’t take it home until after Sunday, because it won’t last as long in your non-commercial grade refrigerator.

Hers will soon be gone.

If you’re buying a commercial or frozen turkey, you should shop around for the best deal.

Turkey Dinner

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