(UPDATED COVERAGE, 1:35 p.m.) Many U.S. pumpkin growers â including a major New York shipper â are reporting losses due to heavy rains this summer.
The crop shipped by King Ferry, N.Y.-based Turek Farms will be at least a third smaller than normal, said Jason Turek, partner.
âWe will not have enough pumpkins to fill our contracts,â Turek said Sept. 25. âThere are huge, gaping holes where the early-season rains killed plants and thereâs just nothing there.â
For Turek Farms, this season may be unprecedented.
âWeâve grown pumpkins here for over 20 years, and weâve probably never seen a situation where we have such as small crop,â Turek said.
Because Turek Farms sells its pumpkins on contract, the shortage will not affect the price of the pumpkins it ships this season, but product sold on Eastern terminal markets could see a bump, Turek said.
Looking only at large-volume pumpkin-producing states, the weather problems could be limited to New York, Turek said. More normal crops in Canada and Michigan could help meet East Coast and Midwest demand, he said.
Even pumpkins grown in Texas and California could pick up some of the slack in the Midwest, supplying markets normally supplied by East Coast shippers, Turek said.
In early September, major shippers in Texas, California and Michigan forecast normal volumes this season.
Growers in other states, including Arkansas, New Hampshire and Minnesota, also are reporting significant losses this season, according to news accounts.
In Arkansas, the culprit has been rain at the end of the growing season, not the beginning, said Craig Andersen, an extension horticulture specialist for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.
âToday is literally the first day in two weeks Iâve seen the sun,â Andersen said Sept. 25. âItâs just not good pumpkin weather.â
If the sun stays out into early October, the crop could wind up being âfair,â Andersen said. If not, the chances of losing significant volume to disease and rot is significant.