Ideal rain, temperatures mean good Illinois pumpkin crop

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — University of Illinois pumpkin crop experts say this year’s harvest looks to be much better than year, when yield losses were predicted.

Illinois plant pathologist Mohammad Babadoost says the pumpkin crop in Illinois had enough rain, but not too much and temperatures were warm and dry, “which pumpkins love.” Illinois is the country’s top pumpkin-producing state. About 90 percent of the pumpkins grown in the U.S. come from within a 90-mile radius of Peoria.

Unlike last year, Babadoost says there will be “no shortage of pumpkin pie at the Thanksgiving table” this holiday season.

There was one hiccup this year. That was in mid-August when the fast-spreading fungus downy mildew appeared in some fields. But experts say it was confined to a small area in Tazewell County.