MORTON, Ill (Heart of Illinois ABC) - It has been a long and hot summer in Central Illinois and the effects have been seen on local agriculture. Pumpkins tend to like a hotter and dryer summer, which has been the case in Morton through much of 2021. Roth Pumpkin Patch is seeing very promising yields as they have begun their harvest for Autumn 2021. They harvest each pumpkin by hand and have over a dozen varieties.
"This past week, our pumpkins are all hand-harvested and we were spraying, constantly with fungicides to try to hold any disease pressure down. So far, it looks like we've got a nice crop of pumpkins out in the field and lots of nice varieties." Said Nic Roth, owner of Roth Pumpkin Patch.
Earlier in the year, there was a scare from a particular deadly fungus that was found in Morton. Roth Pumpkin Patch did not experience this fungus, but as stated above, they had mitigation factors in place.
"We fared well with the weather. This past growing season. We started off, hot and dry, and then we did get kind of wet throughout the growing season, but not as wet as some of the other surrounding areas and I think that's why we were fortunate enough to have a nice pumpkin crop." Said Roth regarding the weather this season.
Some areas in the region did receive very large amounts of rain, specifically McLean County, where nearly a foot of rain fell on parts of the county over 24 hours earlier in the summer.
Roth Pumpkin Patch opened for the season on Monday, September 13th, and will be open through Halloween Day. Most of their pumpkins are priced by the pound. They have varieties of pumpkins that are priced per pumpkin. Nic also said that they have some giant pumpkins that may be pushing the 100-pound mark.