Lower turkey prices mean a more affordable Thanksgiving dinner this year according to Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s annual Marketbasket survey.

“This year’s classic Marketbasket survey rang in more than $2 less than last year at this time,” said Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s spokesperson Sarah Hetke. “The survey’s total price of $45.01, when divided by 10 people, shows a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal can cost approximately $4.50 per person.”

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s national survey of the same items (turkey, cubed stuffing, milk, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery and pumpkin pie with whipped cream, all in quantities sufficient to serve 10 people) averaged $47.91, $3.89 more than Wisconsin’s price.

New this year, shoppers in Wisconsin and across the country were asked to find prices for three new items: bone-in ham, Russet potatoes and frozen green beans.

“The new food items are reflective of a modern Thanksgiving meal and provide additional insight into food pricing trends,” Hetke added.

In Wisconsin, the cost of the modern Marketbasket survey, with the three new items, totaled $59.30 which is $2.42 lower than the national average of $61.72.

Wisconsin’s average price for a 16-pound turkey was $20.96 in 2017. This year the price of the same 16-pound turkey is $19.04, down $1.92.

“There is a large supply of fresh and frozen turkeys in preparation for the holidays, which means we are seeing lower prices in the grocery store this year,” Hetke said.

Farmer’s share is $8.78

During the last three decades, retail grocery prices have gradually increased while the share of the average dollar spent on food that farm families receive has decreased. In the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures in grocery stores and restaurants. Since then that figure has decreased steadily and is now 14.8 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Using that percentage across the board, the farmer’s share of this year’s modern Marketbasket $59.30 grocery bill is $8.78.

The USDA says Americans will spend approximately 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average in the world.

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