Potential Thanksgiving Pumpkin Problems

By Justin Foss, Reporter

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By Daren Sukhram

ATKINS - Now that fall has arrived, Thanksgiving isn't far away, which of course, means pumpkin pie. But maybe not this year for many of you.

That's because there's a nation-wide shortage of canned pumpkin.

For the last few growing seasons pumpkins have been slow to develop. Cold days and too much rain have many wondering- will there be pumpkins by November?

In his 21 years in the grocery business, Jeff Carter has never seen this shelf empty.

"I would never think that there would ever be a pumpkin shortage," Carter said.

Since December of 2008, Hy-Vee says it's been mostly out of their Hy-Vee brand canned pumpkin. Around Easter they ran out of the other brands.

"We order so much during the thanksgiving season that we can't get rid of it after the thanksgiving season. This is very rare, something I've never seen before," Carter added.

Carter says they're expecting a shipment in early to mid-October, but don't be fooled by these pumpkins sitting on display. They aren't the same kind of pumpkins that go into cans, and eventually pies.

Karen Petersen has grown pumpkins for years. She says the crop as a whole is behind schedule, but luckily for them, they planted earlier than usual, so they're not as bad off as others.

"They love that hot days and cooler nights to set their fruit. We got the cooler nights, but the heat, that's an issue with them," Petersen said.

Hy-Vee says they expect to be fully stocked by late-October. That's when this year's crop will finally hit store shelves.

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