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A Halloween Pumpkin Hunt?

The 2021 pumpkin crop is spookier than ever.

But it’s not because of super-scary carvings everyone is posting to Insta.

Yep, you guessed it: There could be a shortage.

And yes—COVID is partially to blame. In some areas the supply chain challenges that have plagued literally everyone are creating backlogs in distributing pumpkins. Other areas have found labor hard to find, like so many other businesses in the past year.

But in the case of pumpkins, there are other factors that could leave some wondering where all the orange is this fall.

Farms in California have faced drought, leaving some with smaller harvests. In other areas of the country, like North Carolina, conditions have been too wet through the spring and summer months.

There’s also this: Illinois produces 80-90% of the total U.S. pumpkin crop, and farmers in the state are seeing high levels of fungus destroying otherwise good-looking pumpkins. Those in the state are predicting the real effects of a shortage might come at Thanksgiving—when demand for canned pumpkin spikes for the year.