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Pumpkins in short supply as Halloween approaches

The high heat from the summer is affecting our current pumpkin supply, however, pumpkins are available at large retailers.

MOORHEAD — Dale Ullrich has sold locally-grown pumpkins next to Junkyard Brewing Company in Moorhead for five years. In previous years, the former crane operator had plenty of pumpkins, but this year it's a different story.

"A lot less. In Glyndon, he's about sold out there now. I see there are hardly any left out there," Ullrich said. "These that I got left here should go pretty good. I think by the time Halloween hits."

Ullrich is currently selling pumpkins at a rate of three for $10, but said this is his last load as his supplier is running out. Not only has he gotten fewer pumpkins, but something else is off about them as well.

"They're a lot smaller this year than other years that I noticed," Ullrich said. "The ones I get cut out of Hawley last year were a lot bigger. I got a lot of little ones this year."

The punier pumpkins are being blamed on the drought since water determines the size, but North Dakota State University Cass County Horticulturist Don Kinzler says heat determines the quantity.

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"Extended hot weather such as we have this year favored the formation of male flowers and not as many female flowers," Kinzler said. "And you can tell the difference because a female blossom has a little pumpkin at the base. And those are the flowers that go on to produce the full-size pumpkin."

Kinzler said he and others noticed this in their own garden at NDSU, and that they had 40 blossoms, but all of them were male and there were no pumpkins.

It's an example of what has happened throughout the region.

Related Topics: HAWLEY
Ben Morris joined WDAY in June of 2021 as a news reporter. He grew up in southern New Hampshire, before he moved to Fargo. He majored in media communications and minored in marketing at the University of Toledo in Ohio.
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