Climate, inflation, impact on pumpkins

Climate, inflation, impact on pumpkins
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 5:52 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Fall is right around the corner and many are already flocking to the pumpkin patches! But with inflation growing 3.7 percent compared to last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this has affected the prices of crops.

“Yes, everything is more expensive, from the seed to the fertilizer, or to actually have the people come and pick them and set them up for the lots and for here,” Briley’s pumpkin patch owner, Rachel Whitehurst said.

However, Whitehurst did confirm that this will not affect the prices of pumpkins for shoppers. It will, however, make their profit margin slimmer.

Climate also affects pumpkin crops, according to Pitt County Extension Director and Horticulture Agent, Matthew Stevens, weather plays a huge role in the health of pumpkins.

“So pumpkins are an interesting crop for Eastern North Carolina, we have hot summers, a lot of humidity, and a lot of times that can cause a lot of problems with pumpkins as far as disease and that sort of thing,” Stevens said.

According to Stevens, the weather has been a bit dry the past couple of weeks, which has stressed the crop a bit, however, it has still been a reasonably good year.

Pumpkin shoppers are already out at the patches getting an early start to their fall festivities.

“I actually drove past it the other day and I was really excited but it was before 11, when they open so then I was like we might as well go right now,” Kinsey Glasscock said.

Many pumpkin patches are already open in the Greenville/Pitt County area such as Briley’s. However, the majority of the patches will start opening their doors on Saturday, September 23rd.