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Large Pumpkin Crop Leaves Many To Rot In Fields

pumpkins

Mark Freeman has had his pumpkin farm for 14 years.

"The first year we grew pumpkins we had an acre now we grow about 10-12 acres of pumpkins a year," Freeman says.

Each acre yields about 20,000 pounds of pumpkins, and this year was his biggest crop yet.

A perfect combination of temperature and rain led to such a huge crop. But now that the season’s over, there are a lot of pumpkins that have gone unsold.

"Out in the fields, there’s probably about six or seven truckloads left, about 20,000 to 30,000 pounds of pickup," Freeman says.

Now, Freeman will let the deer and livestock finish off the leftover pumpkins and says it won’t affect his next crop.

Dan Egel, plant pathologist at Purdue University, say if these large amounts of unwanted pumpkins aren’t dealt with properly, diseases in the next crop could become a problem.

"The ones you see left rotting in the field, those are usually the ones with disease," Egel says. "So my hope is farmers wait to plant in those fields for a few years to stop any problems."

Egel says the large crop also brought the price of pumpkins down across the board.

But, Freeman says he’s not in this for the money.

"When you're taking people on a hayride and you know where the big pumpkins are and then you hear someone yell 'look at that big pumpkin!' at that point, money doesn’t matter."

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