Top turkey producing states differ by head, weight

The states that raise the most head of turkeys aren't necessarily the same states that produce the most pounds of turkey meat, according to a USDA report.

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(Austin Alonzo)
(Austin Alonzo)

Which are the ten largest turkey producing states? That depends on whether your metric is the number of head raised in a year, or the number of pounds produced.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Poultry – Production and Value 2021 Summary report, released earlier this year, offers a look into turkey production in the top producing states based on turkeys placed for the period starting September 1, 2020, and ending August 31, 2021.

While Minnesota ranks as the largest turkey producing state in terms of birds raised, it is North Carolina that ranks highest in terms of pounds produced. Also, when you look at birds raised, California and Ohio are equal, tied as the ninth-largest producing states. Yet Ohio produces significantly more pounds of turkey, ranked eighth nationwide, while California ranks 11th. Michigan does not even rank among the top 10 states for head raised, yet it ranks ninth for pounds of turkey produced.

The top 10 states in both categories for 2021 are:

Top 10 states for head produced

  1. Minnesota – 40,500,000
  2. North Carolina – 30,000,00
  3. Arkansas – 27,000,000
  4. Indiana – 20,500,000
  5. Missouri – 17,000,000
  6. Virginia – 14,000,000
  7. Iowa – 11,700,000
  8. Pennsylvania – 6,900,000
  9. Ohio and California (tie) – 6,000,000

Top 10 states for pounds produced

  1. North Carolina – 1,167,000,000
  2. Minnesota – 1,044,900,000
  3. Indiana – 836,400,000
  4. Missouri – 552,500,000
  5. Arkansas – 540,000,000
  6. Iowa – 512,460,000
  7. Virginia – 420,500,000
  8. Ohio – 268,200,000
  9. Michigan – 217,260,000
  10. Pennsylvania – 198,030,000

NASS only released state specific information for 13 states. The other two states included in this report were South Dakota and West Virginia, which ranked 12th and 13th, respectively, on both lists.

All other states accounted for 216,000,000 head of turkeys and 7,175,849,000 pounds of production, but state-specific information for those remaining states was not disclosed in order to avoild disclosing date for individual operations.

The report also offered information on the top broiler producing states and the top egg producing states.

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