Pumpkin Crop Struggling With Lack of Rain

By: Jordan Shefte Email
By: Jordan Shefte Email

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From dying grass, to stunted crops...

There isn't much that's been able to survive this summers' heat...

And a fall favorite, is no exception.

Pumpkin patches are noticing a difference this year.

Because vines and foilage still cover most of the pumpkins, it's still a little early to tell the entire impact of the drought...

But farmers tell me that there are already signs that this years crop will be smaller than normal.

Carroll and Becky Walters have been farming pumpkins for over fifteen years...

But say that this summer, is the dryest they've ever experienced.

"Every time it would cloud up, you know and we'd listen to the meteorologist and we'd think oh we're going to get some rain, and then, nothing, and it's been trying this year," said Becky Walters, Vice President of Walters Pumpkin Patch.

The Walters do not have irrigation...

"We're just not in a good area where we can irrigate, we don't have the ground water," said Carroll Walters, President of Walters Pumpkin Patch.

So they rely strictly on Mother Nature for their water supply...

Which this year, has been dry.

"This year it stopped raining in the middle of June, we didn't get a rain til the middle of August, not one drop," Carroll said.

It's causing a problem with the pumpkins.

Even though vines cover most of the field right now,

The Walters can already tell that they're smaller than normal, and there are fewer of them.

"Right now it looks like we're, we're probably uh seventy-five to eighty percent of what we'd like to see," Carroll said.

Even though the drought has taken a toll on the crop of pumpkins, the Walters say that there has been a benefit to the lack of moisture.

"When you don't have the rains, you don't have weeds," Becky said.

Last weekend finally provided the moisture that was so desperately needed.

"Two inches does wonders on a farmers spirit, and on the crops," Becky said.

And as long as we get a few more of those showers, the Walters say they'll have enough pumpkins for their expected thirty thousand visitors.

"when you have that first frost, and people start coming out, and you see what's out there and you think, oh my gosh, why do I worry? You know so every year we have an abundance, we know it's going to be ok," Carroll said.

The pumpkin patch opens on September 15th and will remain open until October 31st.

Admission is ten dollars on the weekend.

And the Walters say that because the last freeze came in May this year, they were able to plant about a month sooner than normal.

They say that if we would have received any rain, their pumpkins would have been twice as big as they are now.

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