Christmas tree, turkey shortages affect Saskatchewan this holiday season

Christmas festivities may be hitting a few roadblocks this year because of shipment issues and a surprising lack of two very important things: trees and turkeys.

Pine View Farms co-owner Melanie Boldt says the expected shortage comes even though prepared with extra turkeys this year, just in case.

Read more: Expect price jump, shortage of turkey this holiday season

“We expected that with fewer restrictions and COVID-19 somewhat subsiding, more people would want to get together and celebrate with turkey,” Boldt said. “So we increased our turkey production by 30 per cent.”

Even with the added preparation, they’re bracing themselves to sell out early.

“I have less than 50 turkeys out of 1,200 remaining to be reserved,” Boldt said.

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The problem isn’t just local, according to the Turkey Farmers Of Canada.

Board of Directors chair Darren Ference says they were also prepared for the increase in demand this year, but with the recent devastation to farms in B.C. due to floodwater, there are some gaps in production.

“They’re dealing with it,” Ference said. “They’re working together as farmers do. Some are placing (to request) another one and then we’ll move them later, and then we’re also working across the country trying to balance or grow some of the supply in other parts of the country.”

Read more: COVID-19: Doctors share advice on how to gather safely during the holidays

If you’re in the market for a Christmas tree, you’ll also want to get one sooner than later.

Kezia Nogot from Floral Acres Greenhouse says they had to look out of province for inventory after asking several Saskatchewan Christmas tree farms.

“The trees didn’t grow as big as they were supposed to because of environmental factors,” Nogot said. “One of those is drought. After all our trees are gone, that’s it.”

She and her colleagues made the trek to Alberta to purchase their inventory of trees and said they’re hoping they won’t have to do so again next year.

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Producers and farmers are thrilled to see people supporting locals especially after such a challenging year in agriculture.

Read more: Wood Buffalo Food Bank hosts first major food drive in 2 years

They say to make sure you grab a turkey before they’re all gobbled up.

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