Prepare for the Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2015

If you plan on making pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, don’t wait till the last minute to buy the canned pumpkin — or you may find yourself facing an empty supermarket shelf.
Related To:

If you plan on making pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, don’t wait till the last minute to pick up those cans of pumpkin at the store. If you do, you may find yourself facing an empty supermarket shelf.

Hard as it may be to believe — with pumpkins gracing every front stoop in the neighborhood ahead of Halloween — a pumpkin shortage is bearing down on us. And while pumpkins may seem plentiful now, they may not remain so later in the holiday season.

Heavy rains in central Illinois, where 90 percent of U.S. pumpkins are grown, washed out pumpkin crops in June — and when farmers replanted, the rain returned, decimating crops a second time.

That means the overall pumpkin yield may be down as much as one-third this year, and Libby, America’s leading canned pumpkin manufacturer, may not be able to meet demand all season long.

"Once we ship the remainder of the 2015 harvest, we'll have no more Libby's pumpkin to sell until harvest 2016," Roz O'Hearn, Libby's director of corporate and brand affairs, told the Associated Press.

O’Hearn thinks there’ll be enough canned pumpkin to go around, but University of Illinois professor Mohammad Babadoost told the AP: "I would not wait until Nov. 20. I'd buy it whenever it comes to the store."

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

If you’re suddenly now in the mood to get your pumpkin fix before it’s too late, here are a few recipes to try:

Photo courtesy of iStock
Keep Reading

Next Up

Pumpkin Shortage of 2011 Hits the Northeast

The northeast is experiencing a pumpkin shortage due to heavy rains and the destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

In Season: Pumpkins

Pumpkins are an autumn favorite for Americans. In fact, the U.S. is one of the top producers of pumpkins in the world. Here are ways to cook them and ideas for dishes to try.

Put These On Your Plate: 10 Holiday Must-Haves

There's no lack of choices at Thanksgiving, but certain seasonal foods are busting with nutrients and should take top priority on your plate. If you're going to indulge, why not load up on the good-for-you stuff? Here's our list of top 10 picks for your plate.

The Ultimate Pumpkin Cheesecake — Most Popular Pin of the Week

Food Network Magazine couldn't get the secret recipe for the Cheesecake Factory's famous Pumpkin Cheesecake, so they made their own creamy, decadent version. Get the recipe.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

This dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan curry soup is made creamy with coconut milk and pureed white beans instead of cream or yogurt.

The Ultimate Pumpkin Soup — Fall Fest

Try Rachael Ray's Pumpkin Soup With Chili Cran-Apple Relish for a scrumptious meal in less than 45 minutes.

Orange Is the New Orange. Nutritionally, That Is.

There are literally hundreds of different carotenoid compounds to be found in orange fruits and vegetables, so it pays to try them all.

Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte Might Be Here Sooner Than You Think

The release date is said to be crazy-early this year.

On TV

The Pioneer Woman

9:30am | 8:30c

The Pioneer Woman

1:30pm | 12:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

9pm | 8c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

4:30am | 3:30c