EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- From Jack-O-Lanterns to pumpkin pie, the start of fall means you and your family will likely be heading out to pick the perfect pumpkin soon.
This year farmers say the search for a ‘the great pumpkin’ might take a little bit longer this year.
Farmers say the rain this spring and the drought later in summer made it a tough season out in the fields.
Friends Halie Avery and Lanita Whitwam set out in search for the perfect pumpkin to put out on their front steps Monday at Connell’s Orchard in Chippewa Falls.
“It’s got to be cute and round and it can’t be mushy or bruised or it can’t have weird bumps on it,” Whitwam said.
But that perfect pumpkin might be harder to find this year thanks to the weather.
“All the rain we got in the spring and it didn't rain a whole lot in the summer and that affected us,” Ferguson’s Orchard owner Andy Ferguson said.
A delay in planting this spring meant a poor start to begin this season’s crop and farmers say the drought in the last month didn’t help the situation.
“The pumpkins require a lot of water and in the lower parts of the fields are where the better pumpkins are,” Bryan Waughtal, owner of Bryan’s trees and pumpkins explained, “anything on the sandy knolls or ridges are pretty much dried up this year.”
After an August with little to no rain farmers say fields that are normally orange with a large crop of pumpkins are looking a little more green this year.
“We try to grow about 6,000 pumpkins each year and this year we are looking more like 2,000 to 3,000” Ferguson said.
So if you're out searching for the perfect pick from the pumpkin patch, farmers have one big recommendation.
“A nice orange color is the first place to start and then from there you'll find the biggest healthiest one that fits the shape you're looking for,” Ferguson explained.