Leading the nation in pumpkin production, the Land of Lincoln grows more than 90 percent of the pumpkins in the United States in a 90-mile radius around Peoria. Nationwide, 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are grown every year.
Those worried a moderate drought this fall would have a negative impact on pumpkins can breathe a sigh of relief, as research shows pumpkins thrive in dry conditions. The key reason for this is their long roots are able to capture moisture deep in the ground other crops cannot touch.
Only a small percentage of Illinois pumpkins become jack-o-lantern and Halloween ornaments – the vast majority (85 percent) are canned at the Libby pumpkin processing plant in Morton, which is known as the “Pumpkin Capital of the World.”