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The pumpkin supply chain begins in Illinois


Pumpkin-flavored everything — from beer to ravioli — is everywhere once again. And for most of those gourdy goods, the supply chain starts here in Illinois.



The state grows more than 90 percent of pumpkins used for canning. And 8 out of every 10 cans sold across the globe is produced at Nestle Libby's in Morton.

Here's what every Illinoisan should know about their fall cash crop:


1. The Prairie States’ pumpkin industry is worth about $200 million.


2. Morton, just outside Peoria, calls itself "The Pumpkin Capital of the World" and for good reason: It produces enough enough pumpkins to make 50 million pies.

3. Illinois grows about 25,000 acres of pumpkins; and one acre can produce between 20 to 23 tons of pumpkin.


4. Beta-carotene is a great way to get vitamin A and pumpkins, most often bright orange, are chock full of it.


5. Illinois’ soil, thick and full of clay, retains water and is perfect for growing gourds.


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