Virginia farmers have a good pumpkin season

Virginia News

(WFXR) — You could say Virginia has the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Of course, just in time for Halloween.

It’s all because of the robust season pumpkin growers are having across the Commonwealth, according to the Virginia Farm Bureau.

“We had some dry weather in the summertime, and they didn’t get quite the size, but they’re good Halloween pumpkins, I just don’t have many of the really big ones this year,” Bobby Williams, at Williams Orchard in Wythe County, said. “We had some rain that hit just right. There’s a lot of production per acre this year.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, in 2020 there were 5,400 acres of pumpkins harvested which was down from 5,600 acres in 2019. Throughout September and October, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service reported pumpkins brought in $17.5 million in 2020. This ranked Virginia 18th among the state’s top agricultural commodities. The state was fourth last year for pumpkin production at 972,000 hundredweight.

“Virginia farmers grow a variety of pumpkins in just about every size, shape, and color. Consumers will find gourds are perfect for decorating, carving, or eating. I encourage all Virginians to plan a visit to a pick-your-own pumpkin farm for a memorable family-friendly, outdoor experience,” said Brad Copenhaver, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The robust season helped with this year’s decoration at Virginia’s Executive Manson. On Thursday, Oct. 7, Gov. Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam attended the event.

During the event, the governor announced that October is Virginia Pumpkin Month. Northam praised the work of nearly 400 pumpkin growers who cultivate and harvest pumpkins across the state.

“Over the past few years, we have seen growth in Virginia’s pumpkin industry with the number of pumpkin growers in the Commonwealth doubling since 2018 from 200 growers to almost 400 today.  Pumpkins provide an additional income stream for many of Virginia agricultural producers and helps to support the agriculture industry overall”, said Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “I encourage all Virginians to explore the many agritourism opportunities across the Commonwealth and celebrate fall with a Virginia-grown pumpkin.”

If you would like to purchase pumpkins, check out the Virginia Grown website for area pumpkin retailers.

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