(WAFB) - If there's one meal that's above all others, it's definitely Thanksgiving!
This year's meal should be even more special as it will be cheaper than previous years, all due to the hard work and dedication of Louisiana's farmers and ranchers. The Louisiana Farm Bureau, along with the American Farm Bureau, conducted a market basket survey of 12 commonly used Thanksgiving items. The total average cost of a Thanksgiving meal in Louisiana is $49.79, which is slightly lower than the national average of $49.87.
The drop in price coincides with the falling prices of commodities, thanks in no small part to local farmers. According to a USDA supply and demand report in November, corn yields at more than 175 bushels per acre nationwide, which is far above trade expectations and is also a new record for production. This will create a surplus, keeping the cost low this Thanksgiving.
"We haven't seen prices like this in years. As it gets closer to Thanksgiving, though, be on the lookout for deals at the grocery store near you. Many retailers offer incredible savings on top of this year's lower prices," said Denise Canatella, chair of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Women's Committee.
Of the 12 items surveyed, five were cheaper than a year ago, while seven were more expensive. The price drop in those five items was significant enough to bring down the average cost of the whole meal.
Shoppers in Louisiana can expect to pay less than the national average for sweet potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie mix, and pie shells. However, shoppers should expect higher prices for turkey, milk, rolls, whipped cream, and veggie trays.
"While our farmers and ranchers are committed to providing the public with the safest and most affordable food supply in the world, we need to be able to make a living in order to do it. Something worse than cheap food is unsafe food shipped in from overseas. Part of our national strength is based in agriculture, so this Thanksgiving, I hope everyone thanks a farmer for the work that they do and pray we get some relief on prices soon," said Ronnie Anderson, Louisiana Farm Bureau president.
Of the $49.79 cost of the Thanksgiving meal, $8.66 goes to the farmers.