U.S. farmers had a bountiful pumpkin harvest in 2005, producing almost 1.09 billion pounds of pumpkins, up 6.2% from 2004. In pounds produced, California ranked number two with almost 1.6 million pounds. Continuing the pumpkin's reign as a popular seasonal food and decoration, sales were up in 2005 and the value increased to more than $105 million, $2 million more than the previous year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) collects data on U.S. pumpkin production and publishes it in the annual USDA Vegetables Summary, released in January. Among the highlights and trends from the 2005 summary:
- The volume and value of U.S. pumpkin production have increased steadily in recent years. Production grew from 815 million pounds in 2003 to 1.02 billion pounds in 2004 and 1.09 billion in 2005. Value of production also climbed from $81 million in 2003 to more than $103 million in 2004 and more than $105 million in 2005.
- In 2005, Illinois was number one among the top five pumpkin producing states, with almost 4.97 million pounds, followed by California with almost 1.6 million pounds, Ohio with 1.33 million pounds, Pennsylvania with 1.31 million pounds and Michigan with 854 thousand pounds.
- The top five states for value of pumpkin production in 2005 were Ohio with $26.1 million, New York at $21.9 million, Pennsylvania at $16.2 million, Illinois with slightly over $16 million and California with nearly $14.4 million.
- Producers harvested 44,700 acres of pumpkins in 2005, down from 45,500 the year before. The top five states for harvested acres were Illinois with 12,900 acres, Pennsylvania with 7,500 acres, Ohio with 7,400 acres, Michigan with 6,100 acres and California with 5,500 acres.