Farmers in New Jersey expect a plentiful supply of pumpkins this year.
Jim Giamarese, who grows more than 20 acres of pumpkins on his farm in East Brunswick, said they’ve matured earlier this usual this year because of the hot weather.
“They’re big and they’re beautiful. The first ones really came out nice. Probably 50 percent here are orange. Probably 50 percent are still green,” he said. “I think we’ll have a full size crop. I’m sure some other guys have some orange ones also.”
New Jersey Farm Bureau president Ryke Suydam said dry conditions helped reduce fungus that can damage pumpkins. He has a pumpkin patch on his farm in Franklin Township, and he said there will be plenty to choose from for Halloween.
“If you needed to, I could sell you some today, but I traditionally always look toward the last weekends in September. The public, they push the market. They want to do it sooner,” he said. “They want to be the first one on their block with a pumpkin on the front porch.”
About 300 farmers in New Jersey grow pumpkins, which brought in more than $9 million last year. Giamarese said many growers count on the money they get from that crop to get started with their planting next year.