2013 Pumpkin Crop

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist; gcjohn@udel.edu

The pumpkin crop has been reduced and is later this year. The reductions and delays are due to several factors: fewer acres were planted because of wet June conditions, areas of fields were drowned out with the heavy rains in June, some fields had poor stands due to heavy rains after planting, planting was delayed due to wet conditions in some fields, and cooler than normal temperatures is delaying maturity. In addition, size is down, most likely due to cloudy conditions during early fruit set and development, as well as disease pressure on foliage. Fruit rots have been a problem in low lying field areas and disease pressure was heavy through the middle of August. Drier weather over the last month has been welcomed, reducing additional disease pressure nearer to harvest. The best looking pumpkin fields this year are those that were planted on killed cover crops (rye, rye-vetch, or vetch) on very well drained soils. On the positive side, prices are higher this year due to the shortage.

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