US - Mild weather in the spring and early summer coupled with sufficient rain in August allowed this year's pumpkin crop to flourish.
"In general, the pumpkin crop looks good and there should be plenty of pumpkins for everyone," said Dan Egel, a Purdue Extension plant pathologist.
Growers planted pumpkins on time this year because it was not too cold or wet in the spring. Also, the wheat harvest didn't run late - a late harvest can delay planting since many growers plant pumpkins over wheat residue.
August brought an amount of rain suitable for pumpkin flowers to develop into healthy pumpkins.
In the few pumpkin fields that did not produce the intended yield, Egel said the problem was usually that those areas got too much rain, killing vines before the fruits could develop. In addition, fields that remained too wet after pumpkins had fully grown sometimes caused rotting. This happened more in fields with inadequate drainage.
Egel had this advice for consumers in picking out a pumpkin:
"In general, if you like the looks of the pumpkin, take it home," said Egel. "However, it might be a good idea to avoid pumpkins with soft spots or brown, shriveled handles."
Egel said pumpkins with full, green stems indicate the pumpkin was harvested recently.
TheCropSite News Desk
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