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Rick Worthington Cost of Pumpkins is Higher
by Rick Worthington, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: October 26, 2018

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You may notice higher prices for pumpkins this Halloween.

It's really not as noticeable here in the West, but in the Eastern US it's much worse. Some farmers are being forced to buy the popular gourds out of state after an unusually wet summer drowned this fall's pumpkin crop.

And for farmers like Steve Weber of Weber's Cider Mill Farm, it means being left with undersized pumpkins and too few to sell.

Weber says it's unlike anything he's seen before.

"Never to this extent,” says Weber. “And most times, when we've had to go hunting in other states for pumpkins, it's been about just a short crop – it was dry, it was this, it was that, you know; you couldn't plant, you couldn't do that, you know. This is pretty pervasive on the whole eastern seaboard."

Weber says pumpkins will still be available for anyone who needs them, as they are being shipped in, primarily from the west.

Weber adds for the most part, it's normal to have occasional wet summers – but the roller-coaster ride is never easy for farmers.

"Wet summers, dry summers, wet summers, dry summers – there is always a pattern to it, you know, it's been going on for years,” says Weber. “There's even an old farmer's saying for it, that's especially true with pumpkins: 'A dry year will scare you to death; a wet year will starve you to death.'"

Insurance polices to cover pumpkin losses are sold only in Illinois, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Weber says most farms have diversified their crops enough to get them through in a pinch.

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