Inquiring Minds: What is the size of the pumpkin crop?

Q. What is the size of the pumpkin crop?

A. This question is a little tricky.  All states produce some pumpkins, but six states produce about half of the pumpkin crop. The real heavy-hitter among pumpkin producers is the state of Illinois, which in a good year produces more pumpkins than the next five states put together. Unfortunately, in 2015 (the most recent year for which data is available) Illinois experienced an epic failure of the pumpkin crop. Heavy rains cut production by 40 percent in most of the top pumpkin growing states, and that year’s harvest of just over 750 million pounds was considerably reduced from previous years.  Illinois was especially hard hit. However, since most of the Illinois crop goes to canned pumpkin pie filling, the impact on the jack-o-lantern market was less disastrous than might have been expected. Hopefully, annual production for subsequent years will prove to have returned to normal levels of upwards of 2400 million pounds of pumpkins. 

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