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Drought Haunts Pumpkin Farmers

Photo by furyksx

Pumpkins are kind of like fruit cakes. They only sell for about six weeks out of the entire year. And it’s usually around the time specials like this one air on television.

But the great pumpkin might be harder to find these days, according to agricultural experts.

“The drought that we’ve had and the high heat conditions have caused the pumpkins to have smaller fruit and also fewer fruit. So the overall yields for growers is down,” said Russ Wallace at theTexas Agrilife Extension Service.

On Wallace’s research farm, for example, the yields were cut in half by the drought.

Meanwhile, in the Northeast, pumpkin farms got hammered by Hurricane Irene. One farmer in update New York saw his entire crop of more than 15,000 pumpkins wash into Lake Champlain, according to the Associated Press.

Wallace says pumpkin prices are up by around fifteen percent. But with the high heat locally, there has been less disease. So while your pumpkin might be smaller and cost you more, it’s more likely to have a nice consistent look to it.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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