An Alabama economist says to be prepared for another more expensive Thanksgiving meal following last year's inflation-ridden holiday.

According to Wendiam Sawadgo, an agricultural economist with Alabama Extension at Auburn University, turkey prices are at their highest levels in over 20 years.

He blamed avian influenza for a "notable decline in production" in addition to "higher feed costs" for products like corn and soybean.

"We have seen a notable decline in production, largely due to the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak earlier this year," said Sawadgo. "Rising costs of turkey production from higher feed costs due to high corn and soybean prices are another factor."

Although the turkey shortage should affect prices to the tune of a 25% increase, there should be enough supply for the upcoming holiday.

Sawadgo advised families to get creative when buying for Thanksgiving dinner this year to combat higher food prices, which in general have risen 11% over the last year due to inflation. He suggested planning ahead and seeking out deals at stores.

"Thanksgiving is the largest food consumption day of the year," he said. "As prices increase, browsing different grocery store ads to take advantage of special offers can go a long way to saving money,"

"Purchasing canned goods or frozen turkeys ahead of time can be other options if you have the space," added Sawadgo. "Some stores offer deals for a discounted or free turkey with certain purchases."

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