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Mixed outcome on area pumpkin crop

Because of unusual weather, patches around North Iowa are seeing mixed pumpkin crops during harvest

Posted: Oct 4, 2018 9:15 PM
Updated: Oct 4, 2018 10:53 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa - The Fall season usually means pumpkins, but with all the rainfall this year, how did the patches turn out?

Mike Andersen owns Andersen's Market in Mason City, and has been receiving truck loads of various types of pumpkins, from the typical Jack-o-Lantern to ghost pumpkins, from area farmers.

He's impressed with this year's crop, despite the extra moisture.

"We've been warm with all this rain, which helps. I worry about going further into the season with it getting cooler, and it stays moist. But right now, the pumpkins are solid. It's been a really good, good harvest this year."

For Don Fix, who owns and operates Fix Family Farms on the edge of Mason City, his crop turned out well, as pumpkin sizes were up this year, as well as the yield. The pumpkins needed to be sprayed fairly often after the rainfall this year, but despite frequent spraying, some just had to be left out in the field due to quality concerns, such as powdery mildew and black rot.

"Even as many times my son sprayed, we left probably close to 45-50% of the crop out in the field because of the powdery mildew. Even with the amount of times he sprayed, we still had some shrink."

Fix notes that if a pumpkin crop has a bad year, insurance is not available, as the industry has not defined a true number per acre compared to other produce such as corn and beans.

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