DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Derry

October 25, 2012

Pumpkin harvest healthier than previous years

Growers report a healthy pumpkin crop

(Continued)

Patches at Mack's Apples have not been significantly hurt by any fungus or insect this year, farm manager Mike Cross said.

His crop last year was sparse due to weather conditions and fungal infections, Cross said, but this year his pumpkin patches are much more orange.

One patron of Sunnycrest Farms in Londonderry said the pumpkin crop looks different this year.

"I've noticed pumpkins all over are smaller," said Richard Hagen of Londonderry. "But the crop itself is more abundant."

In Derry, the 20 acres of pumpkins at J&F Farm are looking good.

Melissa Dolloff, farm manager, said the pumpkins at J&F are healthy and orange; there was no significant loss from insect infestations or fungi.

Dolloff said her pumpkins were planted around their usual time, toward the end of May.

Like other farmers, the J&F crop was ready surprisingly early.

"We could have picked in early August if we wanted to," she said.

Dolloff said the dry and humid conditions made for an early season.

"This time, the warm weather worked in favor for the pumpkins," said Gail McWilliam Jellie, the director of agricultural development for the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture.

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