Pumpkin prices swell as rain cuts their size

Farmer Jason Butler with his pumpkin crop at Homeland Farm, Bewholme, near Hornsea. Picture: Terry Carrott.
Farmer Jason Butler with his pumpkin crop at Homeland Farm, Bewholme, near Hornsea. Picture: Terry Carrott.
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THE bad weather has cast a spell over Hallow’een pumpkins, pushing prices up for families wanting to carve a lantern this year.

The record-breaking wet weather in June and July, coupled with the lack of sunshine has meant pumpkins are smaller and some have not fully ripened.

Yorkshire grower Jason Butler says his crop has been halved, from 5,000 to 6,000, to just 2,500 to 3,000.

Mr Butler whose pumpkins will be on sale this weekend at Homeland Farm, Catfoss Road, Bewholme, said prices (50p to £4) were up around 10 per cent. He said: “The wet start to the year has put everything back. They are a lot smaller than last year and haven’t fully ripened. We are 40 per cent down on what we did last year.

“We normally put them in pots in greenhouses in April time and they are planted out at the end of May. When we got them planted in June and July, which were record-breaking wet months, they were literally sat in water for a couple of months and they didn’t do anything and it wasn’t until the end of July, August when
they started to grow a bit and catch up.

Mr Butler who has a 60-acre smallholding, growing wheat, beans and grass for horses, supplies local farm shops and grows eating varieties for restaurants, added: “They are not as big as they were last year, around two-thirds of the size – but to be fair I am thankful for what we have got. There are still some in the fields ripening, and I am hoping we will get some late sunshine.”