INDIANAPOLIS — Fall has arrived, and Hoosiers seeking pumpkins to carve, turn into pies or paint are in luck.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Indiana is one of the top pumpkin-producing states in the country. In 2021, Indiana ranked second in the nation in total pounds of pumpkins produced.
The Hoosier State only trailed Illinois, which churned out about 652 million pounds of pumpkins. USDA data shows that Indiana grew 181 million pounds of pumpkins in 2021.
Despite the number of pumpkins it grows, the Hoosier State ranks third in the nation in yield. Illinois and California were first and second in the nation, respectively, in pumpkin yield in 2021, according to USDA statistics.
Six states — counting Indiana — harvested over 40% of the pumpkin acres in the country, per the USDA. Illinois and Indiana rank first and second in the country in pumpkin acres, respectively. Indiana tended to more than 5,000 acres of pumpkins in 2021, while Illinois boasted over 15,000 acres of the fruit as of two years ago.
According to Visit Hendricks County, pumpkins at Beasley’s Orchard in Danville and Hogan Farms Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze cost between $1 and $20, depending upon size.
The world record for the largest pumpkin belongs to Travis Gienger of Anoka, Minnesota, and weighed in at 2,749 pounds, per the Indiana Pumpkin Growers Association.
The biggest pumpkin Indiana has produced weighed 2,054 pounds, per the Indiana Pumpkin Growers Association. Steve Strickler of Monroe County grew that pumpkin in 2023.
The USDA reported that pumpkins are native to North America and have been cultivated since at least 7,500 BCE. Gardena’s website indicates that it is best to pick pumpkins between the last few weeks of August and the end of October.