By: Shayna Griffith
As the fall season kicks into full swing, pumpkin patches are opening up for their annual festivities. However, things might look a little different this year due to the blight concerns affecting fall crops, including pumpkins. Since Illinois is one of the top 10 states for pumpkin patches in the United States (about 17,399 acres harvested in 2017 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture), this could be cause for concern.
Mohammad Babadoost, professor of plant pathology at the University of Illinois, stated to Harvest Public Media that Phytophthora is a fungus blight that affects the states that produce pumpkins each year. Heavy rain in the beginning of this year caused the fungus to appear earlier than expected in Illinois.
Although it is unknown whether the phytophthora fungus will have an effect on the amount of pumpkins produced this year, fall-lovers are hoping for a plentiful harvest.