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Farmers blame weather for too many pumpkins left over this harvest

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Pumpkins are for decorating, carving or baking and the festive pieces take center stage during the fall months.

But for some pumpkin farms in our area, pumpkins aren’t selling fast enough.

Over 90 to 95 percent of pumpkins are grown in Illinois and that usually means great business for farmers.

But this year, farmers say record heat and rain is to blame for a surplus and farmers have more pumpkins than they know what to do with.

Bruce Curry owns Country Corner at 5333 U.S. Hwy 150 in Alpha and says the heat and rain has stopped people from coming out to his farm and picking pumpkins.

“We’ve had crummy weather. It was in the 90s in September and no one wants to pick pumpkins then. Now, it’s getting too cold and we still have thousands of pumpkins left over,” said Curry.

Some pumpkin growers say it’s been a beautiful year for growing pumpkins but selling them has been the worst year in 44 years for Curry.

“90 percent of our business is in October with 75 percent of it being on weekends,” said Curry. “I usually do $50 to $75 thousand in sales and harvest entertainment on a good weekend in October but with it raining two weekends out of the four during this month, I’ve only done about a thousand dollars.”

Pumpkin growers were looking forward to people coming out for the last weekend of the harvest, but with a freeze warning in effect for Sunday, farmers expect to take another financial hit.

Curry hopes one last push of entertainment will get people out to the farms before he closes shop for the season. Some events happening this weekend at Country Corner include:

Hayrack Rides

Cow Train Rides

Pumpkin Picking

Mining for Gems

Corn Cannon

Jump Pad

Zombie Paintball

Barnyard Zoo

Corn Maze

There will also be a Halloween Party in the farm October 28th – 29th with a Halloween and pet costume contest. Farm Store Hours are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday – Thursday and until 70 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday until October 31st.  For more information call 903-629-2359.

Curry also gave ideas for unique things to do with pumpkins to make them last past the winter months.

On the flip side, many pumpkin farms on the east coast are struggling to keep up. Drought weather conditions there are taking a hit to their harvests this season.

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