Pumpkin Shortage Expected

Many growers in the Midwest are anticipating a marginal pumpkin season this year, WKYC in Cleveland reports. The questionable season likely is a result of too much moisture, particularly in June. Some pumpkins have rotted in fields, and bees necessary for pollination didn’t leave their hives because they prefer dry weather.

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Last year’s pumpkin pie filling shortage could be repeated this year, as well. “It’s going to be a marginal season,” said Bill Shoemaker, senior research specialist for food crop agriculture at the University of Illinois. “We think there will be a crop, but I think the folks at the canneries are really concerned about whether or not it’s going to be enough to meet demand. It’s going to be tight.”

Libby’s, the country’s largest producer of canned pumpkin, prepared for the possibility of another shortage by planting more acreage, and planting earlier. “We are in a much better situation than we were last year,” said Libby’s Roz O’Hearn.

Some pumpkin growers in Minnesota are saying their crops are average, especially if they planted in sandy soil.