Corn and soybeans weren’t the only bumper crops in Iowa this year.
State Agriculture Department officials say pumpkin production was the best it’s been for many seasons.
Specialty crops expert Maury Wills says the number of local growers who allow customers to pick their own produce has tripled.
“When you can go out and actually pick the pumpkin off the ground, put it in a wagon and haul it up to the apple barn and pay for it there," he says, “It gives the family really good experience up close on the farm."
Wills says commercial pumpkin growing has also increased significantly. He says the latest data shows more than 900 acres of Iowa farmland planted to pumpkins.
Wills adds a very small number of Iowa producers grow organic pumpkins to be made into pie filling. The leftovers in the field will likely be used as fertilizer for next year.