June 23rd, 2024

Climate change: Droughts, heavy rain turn Canada’s pumpkin harvest spooky

By The Canadian Press on October 30, 2023.

Weather vagaries this year caused by climate change have turned the Halloween pumpkin harvest spooky. Pumpkins are displayed outside of a grocery store in Mount Prospect, Ill., Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Nam Y. Huh

Severe weather across Canada caused by climate change has wreaked havoc with the pumpkin harvest this year.

Nova Scotia pumpkin farmer Danny Dill says the spring planting season was arid because of wildfires, then heavy rains in the summer flooded his fields.

Dill, owner of Howard Dill Enterprises in Windsor, N.S., calls this year’s pumpkin season “spooky,” adding that it’s the worst harvest he’s had in his 40 years of farming.

Pumpkin farmer Mike Williams of Ponoka, Alta., says the weather was so dry when the season began that he irrigated his farm with 12,000 litres of water every week for two months – and the bill to run the pump won’t be covered by the harvest.

This year’s severe weather – climate change-exacerbated droughts followed by heavy rain – has also hit pumpkin farmers hard in the United States.

Some growers in states like Texas, New Mexico and Colorado lost 20 per cent or more of their predicted yields, while others left their land bare.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023.

– With files from The Associated Press

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