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Turkey production surges, keeping prices stable for the holidays

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Turkey prices are stable at the San Benito market. Photo: Diario de Yucatán

Turkey production has gone into overdrive for the holidays, keeping prices low for local consumers.

Tis the season for turkey production in Yucatán, which leads the nation in breeding the popular Christmas bird. Half a million locally bred turkeys are ready for sale this month.

December is the busiest month turkey breeders belonging to the Association of Aviculturists of the Southeast, whose president, Jorge Puerto Cabrera, reports that in this period sales increase from 25 to 30 percent.

Of course, turkey is a year-round staple in Yucatán, where panuchos and salbutes continue to be popular. But demand increases when the Christmas season approaches.

Steady demand allows farmers to raise turkeys in a staggered production cycle, avoiding shortages.

Production increased this year, and Yucatán has moved from third to first in turkey production nationwide. On average, the state produces around 60,000 birds a month, 24 percent of Mexico’s total supply, and passing Chihuahua, the previous top turkey breeder (21 percent) and Puebla (14 percent).

Yucatán’s turkey breeders supply Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Veracruz, and also sells to sausage producers who use turkey meat for their hams, sausages and other cold meats.

Frozen turkeys imported from Chile and the United States represent competition for local farmers, said Puerto Cabrera. But their flavor cannot match a fresh turkey, and their ice artificially increases its weight.

“There is definitely no comparison between a Yucatecan turkey and an imported turkey,” he said.

Turkey sales bring an economic benefit of 352 million pesos yearly in the state.

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