The heat in South Carolina has finally abated, but it’s a little too late for pumpkin farmers. Some say they’ve lost more than half of their crop because of this summer’s dry and hot conditions.
“We are dependent on the Good Lord and the sky,” said Beth Black White, the farm manager at Black’s Peaches in York. She says they’ve currently gone seven weeks without rain at the farm.
“Where we have our pumpkins, I’m not able to irrigate them,” said Arthur Black, Beth’s father who owns the farm. “We usually do pretty good with pumpkins non-irrigated.” But the unseasonably hot temperatures and a lack of rain has turned Black’s pumpkin beds into fields of weeds.
“When the pumpkins quit growing, the weeds took off, and there’s not much you can spray over the top to kill the weeds,” said Black. “So we essentially had to walk... I knew three or four weeks ago we were done with them.”
Black says that’s tough because they can typically harvest up to 50,000 pumpkins on his farm: “If you count the little ones at all, I don’t know if we’ll have 15% of the crop.”