New England's Halloween Crisis

Getting ready to carve the world’s first Michael Jackson memorial jack-o’-lantern? You might be out of luck. Record-breaking rain in New England has destroyed many pumpkins, causing local growers to fear for this year’s crops. Overwatered seedlings have set harvests back a crucial two weeks, so many pumpkins won’t be big enough or orange enough by Halloween. Some growers have already lost their crops while others are waiting to see if their green pumpkins will turn orange in time. Pumpkin carvers, smashers, and aficionados need not fear that New England’s pumpkin deficiency will ruin Halloween. Pumpkins in gourd-heavy states like Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, Ohio, and Michigan will make it to stores on time, though they may be pricier than usual: 13 percent of pumpkins—which are a $250 million crop in the United States—are made into pie filling. The rest are turned into decorations.