May 21, 2024

Plenty of pumpkins to go around this year

Pumpkin season in full swing

Pumpkins grow at Cornucopia Farm in Scottsburg, Indiana.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — There are plenty of pumpkins to go around this year, thanks to an above-average harvest on most pumpkin farms.

The outlook for pumpkin quality is also good.

“In Indiana and the Midwest, I think there will be plenty of pumpkins available for consumers,” said Stephen Meyers, assistant professor at Purdue University.

“It’s going to depend on where you are in the country and what market you buy them from. Whether it’s a local farm or a grocery store, it’s going to dictate the supply and the price.”

Last year, Indiana planted 6,500 acres worth $30 million, he said, making it an important specialty crop.

Illinois grows the most pumpkins in the United States at nearly 16,000 acres. Most of the pumpkins are used for pies and other food.

Pumpkins are planted in early summer for an intended September or October harvest. Large jack-o’-lantern-style pumpkins can take up to 120 days to grow.

For two consecutive years, the Midwest started the growing season in a drought, Meyers said. However, rainfall later in the season boosted yields to above-average.

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor