Extreme weather taking its toll on pumpkin patches across Western Illinois

Local News

Henry County, Ill — The hot and dry weather hit farmers across the area directly, count pumpkin farmers among them. One farmer in Alpha, Illinois, explains how he handled the extreme conditions.

From record flooding to abnormal heat, Western Illinois has seen it all these last several months. And with the extreme weather it has taken it toll on pumpkin patches throughout the area.

For years– country corner farm market and pumpkin patch has welcomed families for fun, fall festivities. This year is no exception–But getting to this point has been challenging.

Beginning with the very first planting of pumpkins. A very wet spring made that hard.

“Well, I’ve been raising pumpkins for 46 years. So in those 46 years, I’ve experience everything we experience so far this year,” Bruce Curry, said. “So first of all, the most important thing about growing pumpkins you have to get them planted on time.”

What came next was extremely dry conditions. Bruce said that actually helped.

“And then we went to no rain, and pumpkins actually do better in dry air because of the fact they cover the ground so dense they rot and they get a lot of diseases in year where it’s wet during the summer,” Curry said.

His pumpkins are planted and grown now, but mother nature has turned on them again–recent heavy rains are creating a new problem.

“The pumpkin crop is here fabulous but, it’s really wet so it’s hard for the people to come out and pick the pumpkins,” Curry said.

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