Fall is in full swing and so is pumpkin picking. This year, there are plenty of pumpkins to choose from according to Purdue Extension Plant Pathologist Dan Egel. He says despite "two really different seasons" of extended rain and dry conditions that reduced yield for some growers, there is no shortage of Indiana pumpkins this year.
"Fortunately, most pumpkin growers were resourceful enough to produce a crop. Therefore, while individual producers may have suffered from poor yields, consumers are likely to see plenty of pumpkins at their local retail stand," Egel said.
He says the pumpkin crop was delayed in many areas because Indiana was exceptionally wet from early spring until about mid-July. Most pumpkin growers, who plant in June, had to schedule planting around the rain. Purdue says wet soils and flooding ruined some crops and forced replanting. Egel says pumpkins that were planted during the wet weather may have suffered from diseases including Phytophthora blight.
The weather turned very dry in mid- to late July. Egel says pumpkin growers went from draining fields to dealing with dry conditions. He say dry weather can result in fewer and smaller pumpkins.