November 16, 2021


Virginia, US now top poultry-producing US state


Virginia is in the top 10 for US states that produce turkeys, which means the Commonwealth is an important poultry-producing state.


The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation said the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has ranked Virginia as sixth in the United States for turkey production.


According to a release, turkey growers in the Commonwealth are expected to raise 14.5 million birds this year.


However, this is down 9% from the 16 million that were raised in 2020.


Nationally, NASS forecast the number of turkeys raised in 2021 to be down 4% overall from 2020.


The number of birds raised in a year does fluctuate, but Virginia's ranking remains the same.


"Virginia has not diminished as an important turkey-producing state," said Hobey Bauhan, president of the Virginia Poultry Federation.


He said the supply chain issues and workforce challenges are to blame for the drop in turkey production this year, and he encouraged consumers to plan ahead as holiday supplies may be tight.


"Virginia is cranking out fresh turkeys, and they will be on shelves in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving," said Bauhan. "And you can buy a frozen turkey now. They are frozen fresh, so they're just as good as fresh."


The release said Virginia's poultry industry employs almost 19,000 people and generates another 34,800 jobs in supplies and ancillary industries.


Across the Commonwealth, there are more than 275 turkey farms, many of which are located in the Shenandoah Valley and the northern Piedmont.


Turkeys can be raised throughout the year, but around the holidays, demand increases. The poultry industry includes chickens, eggs and turkeys.


- CBS19 News