Illinois, California are leading pumpkin producers

Illinois, California are leading pumpkin producers

2016 has been favorable for pumpkin production.

U.S. farmers produced 753.8 million pounds of pumpkin in 2015, a 40% drop from 2014. Illinois is the leading producer of pumpkins by acreage, with almost 80% of acres typically devoted to production for pie filling or other processing uses. Nationally, decreased pumpkin production drove down totals for per capita utilization, which declined to 3.1 pounds per person in 2015.

California emerged in 2015 as the top pumpkin producer in terms of value of production. California acreage continues to expand, yields exceed those of other states and annual average prices have increased.

Initial reports for 2016 pumpkin production are favorable with growers producing mainly jack-o'-lantern types with additional specialty varieties. (Photo: Ava_Marie/Thinkstock)

Initial reports for 2016 pumpkin production are favorable with growers producing mainly jack-o'-lantern types with additional specialty varieties. For the first week of September 2016, average advertised retail prices were down compared to the same period last year. Demand for specialty pumpkins continues to expand as consumers look for new and interesting varieties. Specialty varieties with wholesale prices reported to date in 2016 include Big Mack, Blue, Cinderella, Fairytale, White Howden, Knuckle Head and heirloom varieties.

Here’s some facts and figures about U.S. pumpkin production, from USDA’s Economic Research Service.

U.S. pumpkin planted area, total in top six states:

-2013: 52,600 acres (20,400 in Illinois, 6,600 in Michigan)

-2014: 50,900 acres (20,100 in Illinois, 6,700 in Ohio)

-2015: 43,200 acres (15,000 in Illinois, 6,400 in Ohio)

U.S. farm value of pumpkin production, total in top six states:

-2013: $149 million ($47 million in Illinois, $30 million in California)

-2014: $143 million ($47 million in Illinois, $26 million in California)

-2015: $90 million ($26 million in California, $15 million in Pennsylvania)

U.S. pumpkin production, top six states, 2015:

-Illinois: 317.9 million pounds

-California: 146.4 million pounds

-Ohio: 84.2 million pounds

-Pennsylvania: 79.4 million pounds

-Michigan: 77.0 million pounds

-New York: 48.9 million pounds

U.S. pumpkin yield per acre, top six states, 2015:

-California: 24,000 pounds

-Illinois: 21,500 pounds

-Michigan: 15,500 pounds

-Ohio: 15,500 pounds

-Pennsylvania: 15,500

-New York: 11,000 pounds

U.S. farm price for pumpkins:

-2013 average: 13.2 cents per pound

-2014 average: 11.0 cents per pound 

-2015 average: 12.0 cents per pound

Source: USDA ERS

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