Pumpkins expected to be plentiful for Halloween - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Pumpkins expected to be plentiful for Halloween

Plainfield, WI - Halloween isn't too far away and growers say pumpkins should be plentiful.

But those growers say the weather this season gave the crop quite a scare.

Some pumpkin harvesters in central Wisconsin didn't know what to expect for the crop this year.

"It's been kind of surprising because we did have a cool summer," said Bill Russell, owner of Russell's Farm Market in Plainfield.

Russell and his father opened the farm more than 40 years ago.

In August, Russell says he really started to worry about this year's pumpkin crop.

"I was a little bit worried we were going to end up with a lot of green, greenish pumpkins, and I would say 95 percent of them ripened out real nicely," said Russell.

Russell said he has already harvested about 1,000 pumpkins.

One horticulturalist tells Newsline 9 that the pumpkins ripened out perfectly this year in part because of hot and cold weather.

"It was about the third week of August when we started getting that heat and then we got those warm temperatures and that was the trigger that those pumpkins needed, you know to start ripening and start really turning it on," horticulturist Teri Lessig said. "Those cool temperatures allowed them to grow and put on some size, but it was just that trigger, and then all of the sudden we started getting some cool nights and that's another trigger for them to start ripening."

Russell says that two years ago the weather was so uncooperative much of his crop was ruined.

On Monday, Russell was a happy grower.

"This year it's been terrific so we're pleased," Russell said.

Besides selling pumpkins at his farm, Russell operates a pumpkin stand in Marshfield.

He says the average price for his pumpkins are around $5.

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