Whether its an abundance of fresh farm crops at the local grocery store, farmers market or fall festival, the fruits (and vegetables) of the growing season are all around us. About 158 million Americans will get into the Halloween spirit this year, spending an estimated $7 billion to celebrate Halloween.
Just over 44 percent will carve pumpkins for the holiday, but that won’t be the only starring role the big orange squash will play this season. To meet the demand for all things pumpkin, U. S. farmers produced more than one billion pounds of pumpkins last year. That’s a lot of pumpkin pies, flavored coffee drinks and Jack-O-Lanterns.
While less than half of American adults will dress up in costumes, 13.8 percent plan to dress up their pets.
Apples are another fall staple. Whether you like them candied, caramelized or bobbed-for, a visit to your local farmers market is a great way to find fresh apples. From Gala to Red Delicious to Granny Smith, American farmers produced $3 billion worth of apples in 2012.
Here at the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), we’re happy to do our part to help American farmers and businesses reap the benefits of their harvests. Whether tracking down key market news pricing information to help operations of all sizes compete in the marketplace or providing grading services that ensure the quality of food available to American consumers, AMS is committed to supporting American agriculture.
From all of us at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, have a happy and safe Halloween!