(WHTM) — Whether you like to carve them, roast them, or drink them in your lattes, pumpkins are an integral part of fall.
In Pennsylvania, there is no shortage of them.
In fact, Pennsylvania was one of the top 6 states for pumpkin production in 2022, producing about 90 million pounds of pumpkin that year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Pumpkins are grown throughout the northeast United States and are usually harvested in September and October.
The other top pumpkin-producing states in 2022 included Illinois, Indiana, California, Michigan, and Virginia, according to the department.
Illinois leads the nation in pumpkin production by far. The state produced about 634 million pounds in 2022, more than the other five top-producing states combined.
In 2022, Illinois also had the highest pumpkin acreage, harvesting 17,600 acres, more than twice as any of the other top states. That year, Pennsylvania was consistent with the other 4 pumpkin leaders, all of which harvested between 4,200 and 6,300 acres, according to the department.
Data from the Department of Agriculture shows, however, that Pennsylvania’s pumpkin yield has been rising in recent years.
According to the department, the state typically averages a yield of about 12,000 pounds per acre. While that yield can vary from year to year, a chart published by the department showed the total yield growing steadily from 2020 to 2022.
With more than 1 billion pounds of pumpkin produced annually in the U.S., according to Penn State Extension, the crops are also a major money maker for the farms that grow them.
With pumpkins often sold for decorative purposes, pumpkin production generates more than $100 million in farm receipts from around 50,000 acres of land, according to Penn State Extension.
According to the department, the total pumpkin production value of the nation’s top six pumpkin states increased by 25 percent from 2020 to 2022, rising from $107 million to $134 million. The value of pumpkin production has also increased in each of the states individually, except Virginia.
In 2022, Pennsylvania’s pumpkin production value was $25 million.
Pennsylvania pumpkin growers also received the highest price for their pumpkins among the top six pumpkin-producing states that year. That price was about $280 per 1,000 pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.