Local pumpkin farmers say crop is down this fall season - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Local pumpkin farmers say crop is down this fall season

As the fall season starts local pumpkin farmers say their crop is down this year and supply might be limited over the next few months.

Tim Assiter with Assiter Punkin Ranch near Floydada says this year's harvest yield is down and the pumpkin size is half of what it should be.

"The Gold Rush variety should be weighing 30 to 35 pounds. This one probably weighs about 15 pounds," said Tim pointing out pumpkins still on the vine. "Even though it's a good pumpkin, it's not the size we want. We're attributing that to the heat."

Tim says the smaller pumpkins, mean they need more to fill up the trucks… but that too will be a challenge. "Looking across the fields we don't thing the numbers are there. We think the quality is there, but the numbers aren't," he said.

Besides delaying the growth of some pumpkins, the heat has also caused more to be sunburned. This basically turns the pumpkin soft, ruining them.

As with many crops the drought also caused high production costs for Tim. "Last year we were able to get by on 45 days of watering. This year we started watering in March, so we have watered for six months. Water costs have at least doubled, maybe even more," said Tim.

So, if you're looking to carve a pumpkin this year, you could end up carving a little more out of your wallet as pumpkin prices rise slightly to accommodate the shortage and higher production costs.

"As far as the ones we have, we're just worried about the supply and having enough to supply everyone we've supplied in the past," said Tim.

Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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