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.
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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

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