Drought Takes Toll On Local Pumpkin Farm - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Drought Takes Toll On Local Pumpkin Farm


Despite the drought this year, some pumpkin farmers are having a bumper crop.

"We have been incredibly successful at the growing pumpkins this year," said owner of Pride of the Wapsi, Pat Diericks. "It's because we've done a few things to make ourselves successful."

Pumpkins don't need a lot of water to grow. So, pumpkin farmers with irrigation capabilities have a great crop. But not everyone was so lucky.

"We were looking down and we were like, 'wait, no, that's a nasty pumpkin,'" laughed Brandon Huebbe. "You can barely tell it's even there." Huebbe is looking for pumpkins at the Buffalo Pumpkin Farm in Buffalo, IA.

The owner, Bob Kautz has been growing pumpkins for 12 years. It started out as a hobby.

He only farms eight acres of pumpkins.

Kautz said it's not a big enough operation for an irrigator. But an irrigator would have been helpful this year. Because of the drought, 90% of Kautz's pumpkins disintegrated.

Not only did he lose money on his pumpkins, he's now having 3,500 healthy pumpkins shipped in from a bigger operation out of Thomson, IL.

"It's expensive because I wasted my money on seed, and fertilizer, and cultivation. There's less profit when you have to buy pumpkins," Kautz said.

Semi-trailers full of healthy pumpkins are being shipped to the pumpkin farm in Buffalo -- Kautz's faithful customers won't be disappointed. And unlike the pumpkins there, the gourds and squash turned out just fine.

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