There could be a shortage of canned pumpkin around Thanksgiving after summer rainfall hurt yield in the nation’s top pumpkin-producing state, some crop experts say.
“I would not wait until Nov. 20 [to buy canned pumpkin],” University of Illinois professor Mohammad Babadoost, who works in the Department of Crop Sciences, told the Associated Press . “I’d buy it whenever it comes to the store.”
Illinois provides 90 percent of the U.S.-grown pumpkins. Libby, a major canned-pumpkin manufacturer, said pumpkin yield could be off by a third this year. And while the company says it isn’t worried about supplying enough pumpkin in time for the fall holidays, the company’s corporate and brand affairs director, Roz O’Hearn, said, “Once we ship the remainder of the 2015 harvest, we’ll have no more Libby’s pumpkin to sell until harvest 2016.”
Farmers say record June rainfall washed out the crop.
“When you deal with Mother Nature, you just have to take it and go on,” said Jane Moran, the owner of Moran’s Orchard in Neoga, Ill., who is buying pumpkins at an auction twice a week after rain washed out the farm’s pumpkin crops.