NY steps up amid post-Irene pumpkin shortage in NE

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Northeastern states are facing a pumpkin shortage after Hurricane Irene destroyed many fields, and farms in upstate New York say they’re getting calls from other growers who want to buy their crops.

Farmer Dennis Kelly told the Glens Falls Post-Star that he feels sorry for other growers because the pumpkin-growing season had been difficult even before the storm.

Pumpkin planting got off to a late start this year because of heavy rains in the spring, and Kelly had to begin his harvest a week early because he was afraid that Irene’s rains could lead to fungus.

Kelly said he had to rent mules for the harvest at his farm near Queensbury, N.Y. The ground was too wet for tractors.