Hardly a bumper pumpkin crop - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Hardly a bumper pumpkin crop

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If you've carved a face on a pumpkin this year, you may be the only one who is smiling.

Seems northern Mississippi farmer Robert Foster who grew it may not be so happy as there has been very little green growing on pumpkin farms because of the drought.

For Foster, the rain just seemed to go elsewhere, when he needed it most.
"We just kept getting missed, for some reason," he said. "We only got one total inch of rain at our farm in June, July and August that small period.'

Then when he didn't need rain, guess what this farmer got? He got rain.
"We had rain at the end of the season when you really don't need much rain," he said. "That hurts them just as much as not having rain, when it comes at the end of the season."
If you are looking for a great pumpkin this year, a big one, don't expect it to speak with a Southern accent. Most of the big pumpkins out there have Midwestern roots.

"The biggest pumpkins, deep orange jacks that you see are almost always from up north or out of the Midwest," Foster said.

Foster had a pretty good crop of pie pumpkins and gourds, but for the most part farmers he has talked to have been down around 40 percent on their local pumpkin crops. Many of those other farmers are farmers that Foster  relies on to grow pumpkins for him.

"I get a farmer on the front end of the season before planting season starts to agree to grow me x number of pumpkins and I agree to buy them from there," Foster said. "They plant them specifically for me and if they have extra they can sell them to whoever they want to sell them - to me or they can sell them to somebody else."

It's a whole lot of trouble to grow a crop that nobody is going to want, or buy, after Halloween.

Northwest Mississippi was especially hard hit by this year's drought. While farmers in much of the state faired well, the northern third of the state saw little rain and was under a burn ban because of dry conditions for most of the summer.

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