The Pumpkin King: Illinois’ Amazing Pumpkin-Growing Stats
Illinois is without a doubt the king of pumpkin production, but one place in Illinois is particularly responsible for our state having that title, and that's the town of Morton, Illinois, where they call their home the "Pumpkin Capital Of The World."
I don't want any trouble from angry Mortonians (if that's what you call someone from Morton, I don't know, it could be Mortonite), because it's Morton that really should hold the title. They boast a Nestle's canning plant, and that plant supplies 82 percent of the world's canned pumpkin.
Illinois Has Always Been The Tops For Pumpkin Production, But We've Really Ramped It Up Since 2020
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says that since 2020, Illinois has doubled, tripled, and in some cases, actually quadrupled the pumpkins produced in any other state.
The agency said that Illinois reported 15,900 acres of pumpkins, more than other top states such as California, Indiana, Michigan, Texas and Virginia. Those states averaged anywhere from 3,700 to 6,000 acres of pumpkins. In 2017, data shows that those six states represented about 40 percent of the nation’s pumpkin production.
Illinois Produces 40,000 Pounds Of Pumpkins Per Acre Which Is Far More Than Any Other Pumpkin-Producing State
Going back a couple of years to 2020, Illinois produced 564 million pounds (282,000 tons) of pumpkins, which is as much or more than the next 5 biggest producing states combined.
Here are a few more fun facts about Illinois' pumpkins that you can
bore...I mean entertain your friends and family members with (courtesy of Zippia.com):
- The top ten pumpkin producing counties in Illinois are Tazewell, Kankakee, Mason, Logan, Will, Marshall, Kane, Pike, Carroll and Woodford.
- The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.
- Pumpkins are grown primarily for processing with a small percentage grown for ornamental sales through you-pick farms, farmers' market and retail sales.
- The Morton Pumpkin Festival, which takes place in September, draws over 35,000 people. Not too shabby for a town of about 17,000 people.