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Pumpkin outlookPumpkin outlook

Pumpkins are a pretty big deal in Illinois. Here's a quick look at last year's pumpkin crop and a midharvest update on this season.

Jill Loehr

September 16, 2016

1 Min Read

Disease pressure was tough on pumpkins last year. Jim Fraley, Illinois Farm Bureau, says the 2015 pumpkin crop was down by one-third compared to the record 556 million pounds produced in 2012. As long as farmers managed downy mildew, the most significant threat to pumpkins, Fraley believes Illinois is set up for high numbers this year.

And so far, the pumpkin crop harvest heading to the Libby’s canned pumpkin plant in Morton looks really good, according to Roz O’Hearn with Nestle USA/Libby’s canned pumpkin brand.

NOT SO ORANGE: Jim Fraley, Illinois Farm Bureau, says pie pumpkins have a brownish tint and are tastier than ornamental pumpkins.

“Our harvest has been underway for a few weeks now,” says O’Hearn. “We believe we’re in a better position at this time than we were last year.” She adds that company crop experts did not report any disease challenges, and the Libby’s inventory will be replenished soon.

Fraley says pumpkins heading to the canned pumpkin production facility are not your typical jack-o’-lantern-type pumpkins. The pie pumpkin is more brown than orange and has a “good fleshy wall.”  And of course, pie pumpkins taste better than ornamental varieties.

Check out the infographic below for more Illinois pumpkin facts.


About the Author(s)

Jill Loehr

Associate Editor, Prairie Farmer, Loehr

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