MN turkey dominance, by the numbers


MPR photo/Mark Steil

I’ve been swimming around in turkey data.

We all know Minnesota is the nation’s number one state in turkey production.


Here are few other stats:

— In 1992, the USDA listed separate production numbers from 28 states. Minnesota that year accounted for about 13 percent of total US production. It was a poor second that year to North Carolina.

— Last year, USDA listed separate production from only 13 states. Minnesota was on top, with 16 percent of turkey production.

Here’s a look at the changes in Minnesota’s turkey herd (number of turkeys is in millions).


So, over 20 years, Minnesota’s herd increased by about 8 percent but meat production jumped 47 percent.

The jump in average turkey weights has been a national phenomenon. It’s also been controversial. Economically, there’s no doubt Minnesota’s benefited from the changes in turkey genetics and consumer demand.

Here are links to the USDA data I used:

1992, 1997, 2002, 2011

— Paul Tosto

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