Friday, October 18, 2013
ill-pumpkin

Mississippi Pumpkins: Conditions Yield Best Ever Crop

AgFax.Com - Your Online Ag News Source


Mississippi’s pumpkins have experienced something of a holiday miracle with one of their best seasons ever.

David Nagel, horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said 2013 has been the best year for pumpkins since he started working in the state about 25 years ago. Mississippi growers are producing more and larger pumpkins than their competitors in states to the north.

“From a weather perspective, Mississippi pumpkins must grow at one of the worst times of the year to produce a crop in time for Halloween,” Nagel said. “Growers plant around the Fourth of July to begin harvesting in mid-October.”



Nagel said the cool, wet spring was an even greater challenge for the northern Corn Belt states, resulting in a smaller national crop and potentially sending prices higher. In general, Mississippi fields had adequate rainfall with only a few locations experiencing a brief drought.

“For Mississippi growers, air temperatures generally did not exceed 95 degrees throughout July, August and September. That reduced water demand and allowed better vine growth, which equals more and bigger pumpkins,” he said. “The relative humidity was low, and that helped keep disease pressure down.”

Thomas Horgan, a research associate with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said growers are always looking for high-yielding varieties with the most disease resistance. He planted 15 varieties at the MSU Northeast Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Verona.

“Our goal is to help producers select future varieties that will grow well in their locations,” he said. “Most growers realize that just because a company labels a variety as disease resistant, it does not mean it will not get the disease.”

Horgan said when growing any pumpkin, a regular spray plan is essential.

“We spray every week for powdery mildew and downy mildew and lots of different fungi. We also spray regularly for insects, such as squash bugs. Treatments start as soon as the plants come up from seed,” he said.

Dwight Colson of Caledonia has been growing pumpkins for 13 years. He started with 3 acres and has expanded to 23 acres this year. The annual weather challenges motivated him to install a center-pivot irrigation system on his field in 2012.

“Access to irrigation really makes a difference, but the biggest challenge this year was getting the crop planted,” he said. “It was very wet the first part of July, and we lost some of our first crop and had to replant. I’ve found that disease resistance is minimal regardless of the variety you plant. You just have to stay on top of the diseases.”

Colson planted 82 varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds. He said his pumpkin prices are running about the same as in recent years, and most shoppers will find large jack-o-lanterns for $7 to $10.

Colson and his wife, Jean, own and operate Country Pumpkins, a Lowndes County agritourism attraction. In addition to the pumpkins, the farm offers school groups and visitors a trip through a corn maze, a hay ride, a barrel train for children and other activities.

Tags: , ,


Leave a Reply

Name and Email Address are required fields. Your email will not be published or shared with third parties.

Sunbelt Ag News

    South Korea Importers Returning to U.S. Corn, DDGS — DTN7-22

    DTN Cotton Open: Trades Above Highs of Prior 3 Days7-22

    DTN Livestock Open: Futures Predicted to Start Mixed7-22

    DTN Grain Open: Futures Show Small Gains7-22

    Keith Good: Soybeans, Corn Garner High Condition Ratings, Lower Prices7-22

    Management Changes Help OK Farmer Weather Drought – DTN7-21

    Cover Crops a Good Replacement in Weather Damaged Fields – DTN7-21

    AFB Grain-Soybean Close: New Contract Lows for Corn7-21

    AFB Cotton Close: Market Consolidates Above Support7-21

    AFB Rice Close: Futures Down with Outside Pressure7-21

    Grain TV: Aug. Soybeans Supported by New Sale7-21

    DTN Livestock Close: Traders Give Cattle Complex Bullish Launch7-21

    Doane Cotton Close: Little Supporting News7-21

    DTN Cotton Close: Settles Narrowly Mixed7-21

    Arizona: Cotton Squaring Almost Complete, Great Condition – USDA7-21

    AgFax Rice Review: UN Prescribes Arsenic Levels; Armyworms Abound in MS7-21

    DTN Grain Close: Markets Continue Slide Lower7-21

    Arkansas: Emerald Ash Borer Turns Up to Threaten Ash Trees7-21

    DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Futures Surge Higher7-21

    Good on Grain: Corn Price Premiums Continue to Fade7-21

    It’s Been 18 Years – What’s Happened in Herbicide Tolerant and Insect Resistant Crops?7-21

    DTN Grain Midday: Trading Flat to Lower7-21

    USDA Creates Soybeans Out of Thin Air, Sorta — DTN7-21

    Mississippi Wheat: MSU Releases Variety Trial Data7-21

    Flint on Crops: Bacterial Blight Makes a Comeback in Cotton7-21

    California Cotton: Crop Moving Fast. Strong Yield Potential – AgFax7-20

    Peanut Insects Forcing Decisions In Some Southern Fields – AgFax7-19

    Florida Cotton: Fertilizing Late Planted Crop7-18

    Soybeans Fields in Midsouth Face Bollworms, Sugarcane Aphids – AgFax7-18

    Rose on Cotton: Future Holds Possibility of New Crop Sales Increase7-18

    Rice Market: USDA Report Leaves Unanswered Questions7-18

    Rice Crop: Texas Crop Heading; Arkansas Recovering From Heavy Rains7-18

    Midwest: Late-Summer Drought Unlikely – DTN7-18

    Do Bigger Farms Really Have Lower Costs? Not Really.7-18

    Welch on Wheat: Production Increased, Usage Decreased7-18

    Welch on Grain: Higher Than Expected Corn Stocks7-18

    Cleveland on Cotton: The Low Price Cure? Maybe.7-18

    USDA: Peanut Price Highlights7-18

    Georgia Cotton Insect Advisor: New App for Aid with Stink Bug Decisions7-18

    Documentation of Farm Assets, Contracts Aids Survivors — DTN7-18

    AgFax Wildlife Review: Hunting Wild Hogs in the Air and on the Air7-18

    DTN Dried Distillers Grains: Fall in Prices Slowing Down?7-18

    Georgia: Vidalia Onion Growers Battling Yellow Bud Disease7-18

    Interest Rates Have Been Too Low for Too Long – DTN7-17

    Brazil Ag Investments Switch to Logistics, Technology – DTN7-17

    Herbicide Resistance: Exploring Weed Control Options – DTN7-17

    Mississippi: MSU Hires International Rice Breeder7-17

    Mississippi: Late-Season Delta Field Day, Stoneville, Aug. 137-17

    U.S. Grain Transportation: All Mississippi River Locks Open7-17

    North Carolina: Soil Information Class Available to Public Online7-17

    Mississippi: Irrigation Turnrow Talks, July 23-257-17

    U.S. Drought Outlook: Improvements Expected in Plains, Southwest7-17

    North Carolina Corn: Southern Rust Alert, Spray Susceptible Hybrids7-17

    Keith Good: Beige Book — Observations on Ag Economy7-17

    U.S. Energy: California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Remains in Effect7-17

    Gasoline Prices: Retail Average Dips 4 Cents7-17

    Propane Stocks: Increase by 3.2M Barrels7-17

    Diesel Prices: Average Drops 2 Cents7-17

    Sunbelt Ag Events

     

    About Us

    AgFax.Com covers agricultural trends and production topics, with an emphasis on news about cotton, rice, peanuts, corn, soybeans, wheat and tree crops, including almonds, pecans, walnuts and pistachios.

      

    This site also serves as the on-line presence of electronic crop and pest reports published by AgFax Media LLC (formerly Looking South Communications).

        

    Click here to subscribe to our free reports.

      

    We provide early warnings and confirmations about pests, diseases and other factors that influence yield. Our goal is to quickly provide farmers and crop advisors with information needed to make better and more profitable decisions.

         

    Our free weekly crop and pest advisories include:

    • AgFax Midsouth Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Missouri.

    • AgFax Southeast Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southwest Cotton (new for 2013!), covering cotton production and news in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico.

    • AgFax West (formerly MiteFax: SJV Cotton), covering California cotton, alfalfa, tomatoes and other non-permanent crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgFax Rice covering rice production and news in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

    • AgFax Peanuts, covering peanut production in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southern Grain: covering soybeans, corn, milo and small grains in Southern states.

    • AgFax Almonds, covering almonds, pistachios, walnuts and other tree crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgCom 101, providing guidance to ag professionals involved in social media.

    Our newsletters are sponsored by the following companies: FMC Corporation Chemtura Dow AgroSciences.

          

    Mission statement:

    Make it as easy as possible for our community of readers to find and/or receive needed information.

              

    Contact Information:

    AgFax Media. LLC

    142 Westlake Drive Brandon, MS 39047

    601-992-9488 Office 601-992-3503 Fax

    Owen Taylor Debra L. Ferguson Laurie Courtney

          

    Circulation Questions?

    Contact Laurie Courtney