Farmers Cope With Small Pumpkin Crop
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"We probably planted fifteen acres,” said Rick Crnkovich. “If I harvested two, it was probably a lot."
In Rick Crnkovich's fields, there's no shortage of *vines* for pumpkins, gourds and squash.
"You kinda see how the vines are here... but there's really no production, no fruit or anything on them."
Crnkovich runs his family's farm market in LeRoy, but this year he's had to buy a lot of pumpkins elsewhere to sell at his own stand.
"I'm not even gonna a say quarter of them are mine,” he said. “Pretty much: no rain."
It's the drought that YNN first told you about months ago, now showing its effect on even the hardiest crops, like pumpkins.
"Most generally, they're a pretty easy crop to grow, and this is the first season I've really had any problems with it."
Pumpkins are known to thrive in dry weather, because of their deep root system. Just this week, the Associated Press reported pumpkins grown near the Finger Lakes and Hudson River, thrived, even despite the dry summer.
But in this part of New York State, the growing soil is shallow, and there's thick bedrock underneath. If small farmers like Rick Crnkovich couldn't irrigate, their pumpkin and gourd vines either never flowered, or flowered late, and that means, they just didn't grow much.
There's no shortage of pumpkins to buy. They've been shipped in from other regions, so no worry for consumers.
But for Crnkovich and other small growers, there will be a shortage of cash.
"It's pretty discouraging when you spend April and May putting everything in, expecting to harvest all through September and October, and you're done in about a week,” he said. “I just think it's important to get out and support your local small farmer and maybe that'll help them make up for the season, in general."