During the fall of 2009 gardeners, pie makers and jack-o-lantern carvers coped with a poor pumpkin crop. There are new fears that the 2011 pumpkin crop in the northeast will be less than spectacular, but here in Maryland we should be fine. Though local farmers have suffered some losses there should be enough to make it through the Halloween season.
The heavy rains that began with Hurricane Irene and continued with Tropical Storm Lee caused problems for local farmers. Areas where these storms hit hardest are among some of the worst affected. Mold grew on the plants, unripe fruit fell off the stem and muddy fields make harvesting difficult.
Though, the losses in Maryland appear uneven. Anne Arundel county farmers are reporting heavy losses while Carroll County farmers believe they will have enough pumpkins for Halloween. It appears that farmers in low lying areas are suffering the worst damage. Farmers who have a sufficient crop often have fields with better drainage. Ironically, many farmers carefully nursed their pumpkin crops by using irrigation through the dry summer of 2011.
Just in case, try to buy your pumpkin as soon as you can. If farmers do run out they may have to ship in pumpkins from unaffected states to enlarge their inventory. If this happens, pumpkins will be more expensive this trick-or-treat season.
Free Halloween pumpkin stencils and patterns
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Carroll County Times: Carroll not likely to feel effects of pumpkin shortage
The Baltimore Sun: Maryland unlikely to have pumpkin shortage
Hometown Annapolis: Irene, Lee wash out pumpkin crops
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