U.S. could be affected by pumpkin shortage because of weather, shipping issues

U.S. could be affected by pumpkin shortage because of weather, shipping issues

The U.S. could be affected by a pumpkin shortage because of several issues, including weather conditions, shipping issues and a fungus in some areas, according to recent reports.

Pumpkin prices also appear to be increasing compared to last year, according to USDA data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture In fact, during the second week of September a Howden pumpkin cost $5.17, which was up 7% from the same period last year when the same type of pumpkin cost $4.83, the USDA reported.

According to the USDA, Illinois crops the most pumpkins in the U.S. though pumpkins are grown throughout the entire country and all fields are harvested.

The USDA reported the top six pumpkin-producing states - Illinois, California, Indiana, Michigan, Texas and Virginia - harvested more than 1 billion pumpkins combined last year, the top six states - said. However, pumpkins are grown across the U.S. and not just in those six states.

Of those top-producing states, Illinois harvests the largest share of pumpkins, though it produces about 80% of its crop to pie filling or other processing uses, according to the USDA.

However, the local pumpkin crop may not be as plentiful as it has been in the past because of a fungus, according to the Illinois station KSDK.

Mohammad Babadoost told the station: We have to be very careful and work very hard to make sure this disease doesn t grow out of control. However, after adding the fungus, Illinois Specialty Growers Association Executive Director Raghela Scavuzzo told KSDK that there will still be plenty of pumpkins.

When you are ready for Thanksgiving and you're looking for that canned pumpkin, or if you're trying to buy it right now, you might not find the canned pumpkin on the shelves, Scavuzzo told the station.

Meanwhile, California pumpkin growers are seeing their crop struggles due to the drought and, in some places, problems with migratory birds and a virus, according to WKRN.

This year is the hardest I ve seen for Californian grown pumpkins, says Lyra Marble, a pumpkin patch owner in Culver City, California, told the station.

Though many pumpkin growers across the country are having problems, some aren't seeing any issues at all, according to reports.

WETM and WKRN reported that in Elmira, New York, and Middle Tennessee, respectively the pumpkin crop has been strong.

According to the National Retail Federation, 44% of Americans plan to carve a pumpkin as part of Halloween celebrations.

It is also expected that Americans will spend $3.2 billion on holiday decorations.