Texas pumpkin yields down, but quality up

Perfect pumpkin season in Michigan

Michigan expects a banner pumpkin year throughout the state. Ed Carpenter, the owner of Peacock Road Family Farm, told rfdtv.com: "The guys that I've talked to, we've all had a good year. Last year was a horrible year. I bet we didn't have fifty pumpkins. This year we got a lot of them. Our only problem here is deer are eating the pumpkins, that's a challenge for us, but it's been a great year for pumpkins."

The size and amount has been the total opposite of last year's crop. Mel Koelling, the owner of Tannenbaum Farms, says that it is the combination of two factors: longer, warmer weather and increased activities from pollinating bees.

Texas pumpkins
Mark Carroll, AgriLife Extension agent, said Floyd County producers were reporting yields were down 20%-30% compared to last year, but higher quality due to low disease pressure.  Pumpkin growers are expanding their variety offerings from the traditional orange jack-o-lantern to meet growing demand for the decorative fruit.

Carroll said very little rain and low humidity led to very few heavy dews during the season, which can allow funguses to establish and proliferate.

There are a few pumpkin acres outside of the 600 production acres in Floyd County, Carroll said, but Floydada has established itself as the “pumpkin capital” of Texas. Most producers were finishing harvest this week just in time for Punkin’ Days, the annual pumpkin festival.

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