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Floydada pumpkin producers yield quality crop despite challenges

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 10:52 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Saturday, thousands will flock to Floydada, the pumpkin capital of the USA, to celebrate “Punkin’ Days.” Tim Assiter of Assiter Punkin Ranch says there’s a pumpkin shortage in some areas of the country because of weather. That, plus more people trying to get out and do fun things with the family, are driving up demand.

“We started shipping pumpkins actually in August and there is still huge demand. We’re still shipping out semi loads,” Assiter said.

Despite a challenging season, producers say this season yielded a quality crop. Lindsey Pyle, an office manager at Pumpkin Pyle, says cooler temperatures throughout the summer helped keep quality up.

“We’ve just been blessed by great weather through the month of September. And so, it’s just been, our overall quality has been really good this year due to great weather during harvest,” Pyle said.

While the rainy weather is good for the soil, it’s also good for bugs and worms, harming the crops. Assiter says those weren’t the only challenges.

“Labor, boxes, pallets, trucks, everything has been an issue. The only thing that hasn’t been an issue is how good the pumpkins are,” Assiter said.

Between the producers’ daily operations and the revenue that comes in from the “Punkin’ Days” festival, the pumpkin puts Floydada on the map. For the 34th annual event, there’ll be more vendors and new activities, like axe-throwing and pumpkin golf.

“We’re going to be adding a lot. So, I anticipate this being the biggest event by far. There’s been a huge jump this year,” Chamber of Commerce manager Kourtney Debock said.

“We’re going to see a lot of smiling kids this weekend and throughout this Halloween and fall season because we’re going to put a smile on their faces with the Floydada pumpkin,” Assiter said.

Punkin’ Days kicks off Saturday morning with a full day of fun. You can support 125 vendors, play cornhole, watch team roping and catch a live concert that night.

Find the full list of events here: https://www.floydadachamber.org/punkindays

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