Which Five States Produce the Most Turkeys?

According to “Talking Turkey: A Thanksgiving Quiz,” the five top turkey-producing states are Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia and Missouri, as of 2014. Counting turkey production in Indiana, these states produce two-thirds of the turkeys raised in the United States. Moreover, the United States produces most of the world’s turkeys and turkey by-products.

According to the USDA’s Turkey Profile, in 2012, the United States produced more than 7.5 billion pounds of turkey meat. Minnesota turkey production totaled more than 1.16 billion pounds, with a value of $839.1 million, while North Carolina produced about 1.18 billion pounds valued at almost $848.8 million. As a whole, the country produced almost 2.7 million metric tons of turkey.

U.S. Department of Agriculture research shows that about 90 percent of American households eat turkey. Over the past 10 years, the country's per capita turkey consumption has increased to 16.4 pounds per person annually. According to the most recent statistics available, 47.4 percent of turkey meat was sold to grocery stores and other food retailers, 30 percent to commodity outlets, 15.5 percent to food service outlets, and 6.2 percent was exported. The USDA forecasts that turkey production will rise 3 percent in 2014 to a record 2.7 million metric tons, with exports increasing 5 percent to 354,000 tons. Mexico is the largest importer of the country's turkey, followed by China, Canada and Hong Kong.