It’s almost time to dig into a delicious slice of pumpkin pie — and here’s a good chance that the pumpkin came from Illinois.
The state “harvests the largest share of pumpkin acreage among all States and an even larger share of processing acres,” according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “The most recent available data indicates that almost 80 percent of pumpkin acres in Illinois are devoted to varieties destined for pie filling or other processing uses, compared with about 3 percent in Michigan and even less in California and Virginia.”
Last year, Illinois harvested more than double the number of pumpkin acres as any other top state, reaching 15,900 acres, the USDA states. Illinois grows about 40,000 pounds per acre, on average, producing 564 million poundsn m in 2020, the report states.
Earlier this fall, the “Pumpkin Capital of the World” marked its 55th annual festival. The Morton Pumpkin Festival started in 1967, and officially became the “Pumpkin Capital of the World” in 1978, noting that 85% of the world’s canned pumpkin was processed at Libby’s Pumpkin Plant. The Chicago area also offers tons of pumpkin patches and other attractions that are perfect ways to enjoy the fall. Find more info here.