Spooky season in Kansas threatened by pumpkin shortage

Local

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — People all around the country are feeling the effects of the pumpkin shortage this year as prices shoot up because of limited supply, and Northeast Kansas is no exception.

Annette Jackson is the co-owner of Jackson’s Greenhouse and Garden Center. She and her husband have been making the long drive to Nebraska over the past few years to get their pumpkins because there are so few here in Kansas.

“The people that grow locally have said they only have enough to sell to their customers and can’t co-sale to us,” said Jackson.

Jackson explained that a decent pumpkin harvest is heavily dependant on good weather. The harvest begins in May and carries on through the end of August. Unfortunately, this year, rain and hot weather caused the pumpkin harvest to deteriorate.

“The wet and the humidity here will cause a fungus to get started, so it’ll get into the crop that way,” Jackson said. “You lose your foliage. You lose your protection for the fruit.”

She explained that this type of weather also beckons unwanted visitors to the crop.

“Squash bugs get in there really bad, and then, we have the pests like the raccoons that get in,” Jackson said.

A yield means you have fewer options and likely a higher price at the pumpkin patch.

“Now, they’re hard to find, and they’re extremely expensive,” Jackson said.

Jackson says she is lucky to have found the farmer in Nebraska when she did, or they might not have pumpkins to sell this year. Thankfully, they have a decent supply that they are happy to sell for those celebrating the spooky season.

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