Scary Times For Pumpkin Growers In New England

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Portland, Maine (AP) -- New England pumpkin growers spent the early summer soaking in rain that heavily damaged their crops.

Now they're facing the frightening prospect that the rest won't be ready before halloween.

The relentless rain in June and July caused some seedlings to turn to mush in the soil.

Harvests were delayed by up to two weeks, meaning pumpkins may not turn orange or grow large enough in time to be shipped.

In Maine, for example, the harvest is expected to be off by about 50 percent.

Federal agriculture economist Gary Lucier says weather also caused sporadic problems in the midwest.

But he said the overall crop will be average in top pumpkin-producing states like IIlinois, Pennsylvania, California, Ohio and Michigan.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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