Home Farm Equipment Texas pumpkin production challenging, demand strong

Texas pumpkin production challenging, demand strong


Texas pumpkin growers confronted numerous challenges to provide common yields, however demand for the autumn cooking and ornamental staple stays excessive, in accordance with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists.

Many of the state’s few thousand acres of pumpkins are grown in Floyd County round Floydada, a small agricultural city northeast of Lubbock.

Pumpkin patches across the state are busy promoting Texas-grown pumpkins. (Texas A&M AgriLife photograph by Laura McKenzie)

Pumpkins symbolize a small quantity of acreage on the subject of crop production, however Floydada is known for its pumpkins. Illinois produces round 90% of the nation’s crop, however a handful of growers across the Texas city continues to provide high-demand heirloom and jack-o’-lantern normal varieties.

Their harvest is offered at wholesale and shipped all through Texas, Oklahoma and as far east as Mississippi. 

Mark Carroll, AgriLife Extension agriculture agent, Floyd County, mentioned yields and high quality have been common regardless of above-average soil moisture situations. 

There was vital rainfall all through the summer time beginning in late Might, Carroll mentioned. Whereas producers averted main delays to their planting or area administration routines, he mentioned the above-average moisture ranges led to extra issues with fungus than regular. Pumpkin producers sprayed fields one to 2 instances greater than a typical season to guard their crop.

September has been extraordinarily dry, however Carroll mentioned all pumpkins are grown below some type of irrigation. Producers started harvesting a number of weeks in the past and can proceed delivery pumpkins for the subsequent few weeks.

Growers in Floyd County have been averaging round 30,000 kilos per acre with good high quality other than early planted jack-o’-lantern varieties that matured with smooth outer shells. 

Final 12 months, yields have been down about 30% because of drought, Carroll mentioned. This 12 months, production was common, however demand is strong.

Increase, or bust for pumpkin growers

Just a few producers had weather-related difficulties, Carroll mentioned. One Floydada producer misplaced two-thirds of the crop to a hailstorm, whereas one other in close by Knox County handled heavy rains, delays and tough area situations.

Jerry Coplen, AgriLife Extension agent, Knox County, mentioned the pumpkin producer skilled a wide range of adversities together with planting delays, weeds and above-normal illness and pest stress. A few of the grower’s acres produced exceptionally nicely – round 40,000 kilos per acre – whereas others failed utterly or have been broken past salvaging.

Out-of-control weeds adopted delays and muddy planting situations as fields have been too moist to handle, he mentioned, and moisture ranges led to above-normal fungicide remedies.

Armyworms hit his fields round Labor Day and devastated 20-30 acres of his farm, Coplen mentioned.

“We experienced a lot of setbacks between the rain and weeds and armyworms,” he mentioned. “From an acres-to-pounds standpoint, we’re looking at breaking even despite some acres doing very well.”

Larger production prices

Grower Jason Pyle with Pumpkin Pyle, Floydada, mentioned it was an above-average 12 months for difficulties and bills. These expense will increase will imply barely greater costs for shoppers on some pumpkin varieties.

Costs for the bins and pallets wanted to carry and ship pumpkins have been considerably greater and availability was restricted. Enter prices from fertilizer to pesticides have been additionally up, he mentioned.

Labor was additionally a difficulty. Migrant harvest crews with H-2A work visas he usually hires weren’t allowed into the nation, and discovering folks to reap, clear and stack pumpkins has been his largest problem this season.

“Harvest is highly dependent on manual labor, and the 50 to 70 guys I typically hire were unable to get here,” he mentioned. “It’s been a challenging year, but we should be wrapping up in the next 10 days.”

AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the next summaries:


The 12 Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Districts

The 12 Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Districts


First rate rainfall quantities have been obtained throughout a number of showers over a number of days. Topsoil situations improved considerably. The rainfall was the primary good precipitation since August.  Some areas reported over 6 inches of rain, however different locations reported round 0.5 of an inch. Dry planted oats ought to profit probably the most and sure emerge shortly. There was some concern amongst producers concerning armyworms rising together with fall forage crops. The remaining cotton was prone to endure some high quality losses, nonetheless not a lot of the crop remained in fields. A drier and barely cooler climate sample ought to enable for the remaining cotton harvest to wrap up. Remaining oat acres and winter wheat plantings have been prone to comply with. Inventory ponds have been low. Livestock remained in good physique situation, with some producers already feeding hay.


Circumstances have been very dry with a number of small showers late within the week. Extra rain was within the forecast. The moisture ought to assist winter wheat emergence, and extra wheat acres have been planted following rains. Some producers have been dry planting and hoping to catch rainfall. Clay County reported as much as 2 inches of badly wanted rainfall. Little or no farm work was performed because of very dry situations. Irrigated cotton regarded good in most locations, however some dryland acres regarded poor. Dickens County reported small, scattered rains ought to assist cotton end out. Grasshoppers have been lively and pasture situations have been declining. Supplemental feeding of livestock elevated. Cattle regarded good, however calf positive aspects slowed some.


A lot-needed rain blanketed the realm in the course of the week and improved soil moisture ranges. Rainfall totals have been from 2-4.5 inches. Fieldwork was lively till halted by rain. Cotton harvest continued however was full in lots of counties, and gins have been very busy. Rainfall ought to profit pastures and upcoming tillage and stubble destruction. Ratoon crop rice was heading out. Winter pasture planting started. Armyworms have been anticipated to emerge quickly. Early season pecans, reminiscent of Pawnee, must be prepared for harvest quickly. Livestock have been in good situation with greater public sale costs reported.


No report.


The district obtained average rain showers. Cotton bolls have been opening throughout the district. Farmers anticipated to start out defoliating cotton in a number of weeks and not using a vital freeze. Corn and sorghum reducing was in full swing. The pumpkin harvest was nonetheless going strong in Floyd County. Cattle have been in good situation.


Heat and really dry situations continued. Almost all counties reported brief soil moisture situations. Corn and sorghum harvests continued at a quick tempo. Cotton growth was good, and fiber high quality was anticipated to be good because of heat, dry situations. Wheat planting continued regardless of dry soils. Precipitation shall be wanted to enhance wheat germination. Irrigated wheat producers have been watering their fields. Rangeland and pastures have been going into dormancy because of dry situations. Fall and winter grazing shall be in restricted provide with out rainfall quickly. 


Soil moisture remained very brief to brief for some counties and ample to brief for different counties. Rainfall quantities diverse throughout the district. Morning temperatures have been cooler with daytime highs within the 80s to low 90s. Cooler temperatures and drier situations slowed grass development. Farmers have been beginning to plant grazing wheat. Livestock have been in good situation. Fertilizer, wheat seed and a few herbicides have been tougher to supply and demanding greater costs.


Cooler situations have been reported throughout many counties, with lows dipping into the 40s within the greater elevations and the 50s within the lower-lying areas. Daytime highs, whereas cooler on some days, nonetheless made it to the low-90s most days. Elements of the district obtained scattered rain from hint quantities as much as 1.5 inches. Irrigation for cotton, pecans and all different crops in progress was nearing an finish. The El Paso County Water Enchancment District No. 1 was operating effluent water into the system and would doubtless proceed to take action by way of the top of the month. Cotton regarded good, and rain showers benefited fields. The showers benefited some space pecan farmers as nicely, and a few have been making ready orchard flooring for harvest. Pecans have been already beginning to be harvested in japanese elements of the district. Alfalfa farmers could get a final clipping earlier than fields go dormant. Pumpkins have been being harvested. Corn was additionally beginning to are available. Producers continued to feed wildlife and livestock. Cattle producers have been rotating herds on pastures and rangelands.


A lot-needed rain helped inexperienced up pastures. Some producers planted wheat and oats and hoped to obtain adequate rains to germinate seed. Subject preparation continued in different fields for small grain planting as soon as rain has offered moisture. The pecan crop progressed properly. Cotton fields began to indicate some open bolls, and some fields have been sprayed with harvest aids.


Soil moisture ranges have been very brief to surplus. San Jacinto County obtained heavy rains final week that left fields muddy. In Jefferson County, a bit foremost crop rice remained, however many of the rice was both natural or late-replant rice. A small quantity of rice was ratooned this 12 months. Producers have been making an attempt to make a last hay reducing and plant cool-season forages. Residence gardeners have been working fall backyard plantings, which regarded productive. Rangeland and pasture rankings have been very poor to glorious with good rankings being most typical.


Heavy rainfall was reported throughout many of the district. As much as 5 inches of rainfall have been obtained in some areas, with runoff reported. Pastures and rangelands have been enhancing the place moisture was obtained. Most cotton was harvested, and corn harvest have been virtually full. Winter pasture and wheat plantings started and may decide up with latest moisture. Fall calving and lambing started. Livestock have been in truthful to good situation, and markets have been regular. Wildlife have been in good situation. Bow-hunting season was getting underway, and deer populations have been being aided by supplemental feeding.


Most areas reported delicate climate and ample soil moisture, with some areas reporting brief moisture situations. Some scattered rainfall was reported. Jim Wells County reported as much as 1.5 inches of rain whereas Hidalgo and McMullen counties reported 3-plus inches of rainfall. Areas round Brownsville reported flooding following 10 inches of rainfall. Cotton and peanut harvests have been ramping up, however some have been slowed by rainfall. Cotton harvest was full in some areas. Gins have been busy and filled with bales and modules. Winter greens have been being planted, and a few fields have been rising and rising. Wheat and oat plantings have been additionally lively. Pasture and rangeland situations continued to say no in some areas, however different areas reported greener situations. Livestock supplemental feeding elevated. Most row crop fields have been being ready for winter. Producers have been shredding and disking cotton and sorghum fields. Producers have been irrigating sugarcane earlier than heavy rains arrived. Citrus timber that remained continued to be rehabilitated from the February freeze. Hay season was wrapping up, and spherical bales have been $50-$65. Some hay fields produced three cuttings. Cattle costs have been regular. Small grains have been being planted for grazing. Cactus tunas have been nonetheless ripe and offering vitamin for wildlife and cattle. Oats have been being planted for deer and wildlife.

Supply: is AgriLife TODAY, which is solely answerable for the data offered and is wholly owned by the supply. Informa Enterprise Media and all its subsidiaries will not be answerable for any of the content material contained on this data asset.


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