Plenty of Pumpkins Despite Dry Summer

CLINTON, Ill. (AP) -- Central Illinois farmers say there will be plenty of pumpkins this fall for carving and cooking despite a hot, dry summer.

State agriculture officials say Illinois is the country's largest producer of pumpkins.

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports ( ) that Illinois produces nearly one-third of the nation's pumpkins.

Brenda Martin owns the Wagon Wheel Pumpkin Farm near Clinton. She says the drought hurt the 15-acre farm but that rains in August helped.

She says there will be plenty of jack-o'-lanterns and ornamental pumpkins.

And pumpkin pie fans also won't be disappointed.

Nestle/Libby's, the nation's leading pie filling producer, gets 6,000 acres of pumpkins that are grown in Morton. The company is expected to meet consumer demand this year.

Two years ago, heavy rains hurt the pumpkin crop, causing a shortage.

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