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Pumpkins across New England are suffering from too much drink. Fields have gotten so much water that this year’s jack-o’-lantern crop are popping and bursting “like a balloon stuck on the nozzle of a garden hose,” reports Michael Levenson in The Boston Globe. “Like I’ve said for years: They’re going to grow, or they’re going to blow, and both instances happened,” said Berard of Sanford, Maine, whose gargantuan gourds have taken top honors 12 times at the state’s Pumpkin and Squash Weigh-In.
Heavy rains slowed soybean and corn crops in the Midwest, but we had no idea what havoc was being wrought in the nation’s pumpkin patch. (Massachusetts counts 510 pumpkin farms; Maine, 335; Vermont, 211; New Hampshire, 210; and Rhode Island, 68.) Part of the problem was rain. (Boston was six inches over average for the summer months.) Part of the problem, according to one grower, is that bees fly less in the rain and so a good number of plants failed to pollinate. Nobody expects a pumpkin from this year’s crop to beat the 1,689-pounder that set the record at last year’s Topsfield Fair.