Thanksgiving Facts to Digest

Here are some Thanksgiving facts to chew on as you recover from the holidays – like how many pounds of cranberries Missouri produces, how many turkeys are raised in the state, and how many pounds of turkey the average American eats.

(Hint: Mr. Turkey, be afraid. Be very afraid.)

●  21.5 million
    Preliminary estimate of number of turkeys raised in Missouri in 2006, up 4.9
    percent from 2005.

●   Fifth
     Rank of Missouri gobbler production among all states in 2006 (estimated).

Top Ten States in Turkeys Raised, 2006 Est.
State Number (thousands)
Minnesota 45,000
North Carolina 37,000
Arkansas 30,000
Virginia 22,500
Missouri 21,500
California 16,000
Indiana 13,800
South Carolina 11,000
Iowa 10,000
Pennsylvania 10,000

●   13.4 pounds
    Quantity of turkey devoured by the typical American in 2004, a hearty portion of
    which was consumed at Thanksgiving.

●   Zero
    Pounds of cranberries commercially produced in Missouri. Missouri is warmer than
    the typical cranberry prefers -- the tart fruit is grown in Massachusetts, New
    Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin (the state leader, at 375 million
    pounds.) Your next relish could be made of pears, apples, grapes, raspberries,
    strawberries and of course walnuts, all of which thrive in Missouri.

●   1,697
    Total acres of pumpkins harvested for sale in Missouri, 2002

   Scott County
    Missouri's pumpkin king, at 224 acres harvested. Boone County was next, with
    188 acres, then St. Louis, 70 acres, Chariton, 64 acres and Warren, 54 acres.

●  49.1 million bushels
    Preliminary estimate of total wheat production -- the essential ingredient in
    bread, rolls and pie crust -- produced in Missouri in 2006.

●  Twelfth
    Rank of Missouri in wheat production in 2006, estimate. Leaders Kansas and North
    Dakota will account for almost 30 percent of U.S.' wheat production.

Top 15 States in Wheat Production, 2006 Est.
State Bushels (thousands)
Kansas 291,200
North Dakota 251,770
Montana 153,075
Washington 140,050
Idaho 90,315
South Dakota 84,090
Oklahoma 81,600
Minnesota 80,340
Ohio 65,280
Nebraska 61,200
Illinois 60,970
Missouri 49,140
Michigan 47,450
Oregon 44,440
Colorado 41,515

Green beans, for casserole
    Please. There are some things even MERIC won't touch.

●   Best Thanksgiving place name
    Pilgrim, Dade County, Missouri -- population 28 in 2000.


Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service; US Census Bureau, 2000 Census and 2002 Economic Census.

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