ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A pumpkin-growing expert at the University of Illinois says this year’s crop is a strong one, and there should plenty to go around for baking pies at Thanksgiving.

Mohammad Babadoost says there was early concern about “fruit rot,” but losses were minimal.

“In 1999, 2000 we had 100 percent loss of field after field but right now the losses are very low. usually we have about 5 percent losses,” he says.

Illinois is the leading pumpkin producer in the country.

About 15,000 acres are dedicated for the ones used in baking, producing 20 to 30 tons per acre.

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