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Heat Carving Into Pumpkin Profits

Posted September 26, 2007

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— North Carolina farmers are worried the heat will hit their pumpkin patches hard this year. There are already signs of a smaller fall crop.

Pumpkin farmer Elsie Bynum lives just outside of Gardner. She does not have an irrigation system, so her pumpkins grew from the dew that settled on them overnight.

"They [pumpkins] just don't require as much water as other crops, but everything has to have some water,” Bynum said.

Because of the lack of rain, Bynum's had to harvest her pumpkins three weeks early. Many of the pumpkins were deformed and smaller than usual, and she was unable to sell them.

"There's a right many good ones over there, but more bad than good,” Bynum said.

Despite the state drought, there are pumpkins to be bought this fall.

"I'm seeing quite a bit come in right now. I don't know how long that's gonna last,” Ronnie Best, State Farmer's Market manager, said.

Best said farmers have struggled with a variety of challenges this year, from a lack of water to extreme heat that interferes with pollination.

"Once it gets above about 90 degrees, bees are like us, they don't want to fly,” Best said.

Because of high temperatures, some pumpkins are not maturing and are still green. Farmers fear the pumpkins will not turn orange in time for the Halloween push.

"I'm hearing they [pumpkins] are sparse. They are scattered. I'm hearing they are still sitting in the fields, green. They haven't turned orange yet,” Best said. "Pumpkins after Oct. 31 aren't worth a lot."


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  • raysson Sep 27, 2007

    Speaking of Pumpkins,has anybody took a good look at this state's peach crop?

  • raysson Sep 27, 2007

    And the annual North Carolina State Fair is just around the corner. And this Pumpkin season has not been fair to those who have experienced the worst drought situation ever recorded in the history of the state and its still getting nowhere. This is about the same as all the other fall crops too. This year's State Fair may bring out some of the best and the worst of this year's crop of goodies.

  • taylor boy Sep 27, 2007

    Well, you can sell the pumpkins to Libby for pumpkin pies for T-giving and Xmas.

  • shine Sep 27, 2007

    Ya think? Anyone look at this years corn crop, or the soy beans, ........ Keep sprinkling those lawns corporate triangle folks...

  • oldrebel Sep 27, 2007

    Another neat play on words for the headline. Way to go staff...!!! I like that one.