Inflation hits East Texas pumpkin patches, but drought hasn’t hurt them

Inflation hits East Texas pumpkin patches, but drought hasn’t hurt them
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 1:17 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2022 at 7:26 PM CDT

CANTON, Texas (KLTV) - Today is the first day of fall and farms across East Texas are preparing to debut their pumpkin patches.

“They look fabulous. It’s a great pumpkin crop this year,” Kama Bozeman, Owner of YesterLand Farm said.

Despite the extreme heat and droughts this summer, Texas A&M AgriLife Agricultural and Natural Resources Agent Mark Carroll said pumpkins are in great supply this year.

“Pumpkins are irrigated, and so we used drip irrigation to water the pumpkins, so they were able to continue to pump water to keep the pumpkins growing,” Carrol said.

In comparison to last year: “Our pumpkin production was down about 30%. We had significant rains last year, so we had trouble getting in the field and from our yields last year. My producers are telling me that they’re having increases anywhere from 10-20 percent over last year.”

But, inflation has increased the cost of transporting the pumpkins.

“Pumpkin prices were indeed up about 20%, mostly due to fuel costs increases,” Bozeman said.

UT Tyler Professor of Marketing Dr. Kerri Camp said consumers can expect about a 7 percent increase in pumpkin prices because of numerous factors including weather and inflation of goods. “Fertilizers and seed, to the transportation cost of getting their product to the retail stores, or to the consumers. They’ve also been impacted by a labor shortage to some degree,” Camp said.

Despite the increase in shipping costs, YesterLand is not raising its price in pumpkins.